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A HISTORY 



OF 



KIDDERMINSTER 



WITH SHORT ACCOUNTS 



OF SOME 



NEIGHBOURING PARISHES 



BY THE 



REV. JOHN RICHARD BURTON, B.A., 



Head Master of Kidderminster School. 



" Deo juvante, arte et industria floveat." 



LONDON : 

ELLIOT STOCK, 62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.G. 

1890. 



LIBRARY 

UNWERSITY 01'"^ CALIFORMA 
SANTA BARBARA 



(iii. ) 



PREFACE 




NCOU RAGED by the favourable reception of the 
History of Bewdley, I have attempted a similar 
production illustrating the rise and progress of 
Kidderminster. Excepting some account of the 
town in Nash's Worcestershire (1782), an interesting 
lecture by the Rev. B. Gibbons, and a few 
chapters of a history by the Rev. Dr. McCave, 
which appeared in the Kidderminster Sim news- 
paper — all of which are now very difficult to obtain — there is 
no publication to tell the story of the past. 



This Work is derived largely from manuscripts which have 
never before been published. Next to the Saxon Charters in 
the British Museum, the most valuable portion of our earlier 
history is contained in a copy of the Maiden Bradley Chartu- 
lary lent to me by the late Rev. William Hallen, and 
bequeathed by him to Lord Foley. The Borough archives 
elucidate the progress of municipal and social life in the dark 
ages : my thanks are due to Mr. James Morton, the Town 
Clerk, for permission to inspect and copy them — a task rendered 
easier by a transcript previously made by the experienced 
antiquary, Mr. de Gray Birch. In searching the Public 
Records I received valuable help from the late Mr. Walford 
D. Selby. To Mr. W. H. St. John Hope I am indebted for 
permission to consult the Habingdon and Prattinton MSS. 
belonging to the Society of Antiquaries. Through the kindness 



(iv. ) 

of Mr. and Mrs. Fenwick, I have had access to the valuable 
MSS. of the late Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., of Thirlestaine 
House, Cheltenham. The Rev. T. W. Greenall has provided 
me with several excellent photographs for illustrations. My 
thanks are also due to the Rev. J. F. Kershaw, and Messrs. 
J. Amphlett, M. Tomkinson, J. Brinton, Everard Barton, 
T. F. Ivens, W. H. Talbot, J. H. Hooper, W. M. Roden, R. 
Grove, C. E. Flowerdew, and others for help in various ways. 

Several lists of names are given with the object of helping 
those who may wish to trace local families ; and I have also 
introduced more general information than is wanted by many 
readers, because I find that our artisans take a keen interest 
in the history of their native town and its neighbourhood. 

BONTDDU, J. R. B. 

August ^oth, i8go. 



(v.) 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



LIBRARY EDITION. 

(Fifty Copies Printed.) 

1. Abergavenny, Most Hon. the Marquess of, K.G., 

Eridge Castle, Sussex. 

2. Adam, Mr, Peter, Cairndhu, Kidderminster. 

3. Amphlett, Mr. John, Clent House. 

4. Barton, Mr. Everard, Warstone House. 

5. Baldwin, Mr. Enoch, The Mount, Stourport. 

6. Beauchamp, Right Hon. the Earl, Madresfield Court. 

7. Blencowe, Rev. C. E., Marston S. Lawrence Vicarage. 

8. Blencowe, Canon A. J., West Kirby Rectory. 

9. Burton, Mr. George H., Markby, Stamford. 

10. Burton, Mrs., Woodfield. 

11. Burton, H. J. Chandos, Woodfield. 

12. Crane, Mr. John H., Oakhampton. 

13. Crowther, Mr. W. E. A., The Spennels. 

14. Fisk, Rev. T. , Highcliffe. 

15. Fletcher, Mr. Tom, Falling Sands. 

16. Foley, Right Hon. Lord, Ruxley Lodge, Esher. 

17. Foley, Mr. P. H., Prestwood. 

18. Gibbons, Rev. B., M.A., Waresley House. 

ig. Grosvenor, Mr. G. W., B.A., D.L., Broome House. 

20. Harvey, Mr. J. J., The Grove. 

21. Howard, Mr. Henry, Stone House, near Kidderminster. 

22. Jenkins, Mr. R., Mill Street. 

23. Morton, Mr. E. J., Heathfield, Wolverley. 

24. Norris, Mr. W., The Mount, Tenbury. 

25. Salisbury, Very Rev. the Dean of. The Deanery. 

26. Tempest-Radford, Mr., Bevere Manor. 
27-36. Tomkinson, Mr. M., Franche Hall. 

37. Walcot, Rev. John, Bitterley Court, Shropshire 

38. Walcot, Mr. Owen C, St. Leonards. 

39. Walcot, Capt.. R.N., H.M.C.S. Protector. 

40. Wilson, Mr. Jas., Birmingham. 



( vi. ) 

Adam, Mr. W., Linden Avenue 

Addenbrooke, Mr. E. H., Mill Street. 

Antiquaries, Society of, London. 

Aiiwood, Mr. C, M.A., Carlsruhe, Malvern Wells. 

Awdry, Mr. W. C, The Bank. 

Ayscough, Rev. T. A., M.A., The Vicarage, Tenbury. 

Baldwin, Mr. A.. VVilden House. 

Baldwin, Mr. J. Gough, Stourport. 

Baldwin, Mr. E. .\rthur, Astley Town. 

Baldwyn-Childe, Mrs., Kyre i'ark, Tenbury. 

Barlow, Mr. John, Crescent Villa. 

Barrington-Ward, Mr. M. J., M.A., Worcester, 

Barton, Mr. Everard, Warstone House. 

Barton, Mr. Charles T., The Hill, Wolverley. 

Barton, Mrs., Astley Hall. (2.) 

Bathe, Rev. Stephen B., Kushbury Rectory. 

Beach, Mr. T., Areley Kings. 

Beddoe, Mr. H. C, Hereford. 

Bennett, Miss C. E., High School for Girls. 

Bennie, Mr. John, Oak Grove. 

Binnian, Mr. James, Blakebrook. 

Bradley (the late). Rev. E., Lenton Vicarage. 

Brinckman, Mrs. WilUam, Ribbesford House. (2.) 

Brinton, Mr. John, Moor Hall. (2.) 

Boughton, Sir C. H. Rouse, Bart., Downton Hall, Ludlow. 

Broadfield (the late), Mr. E., Post Office. 

Bioome, Mr. E. A., Areley Kings House. 

Bucknall, Mr. T. S., Summer Bank. 

Burcher, Mr. F., Kidderminster. 

Carter, Mr. H. G., Chester Road. 

Carter, Mr. Henry, Lome Street. 

Cawood, Rev. John, Bayton Rectory. 

Chesshire, Rev. J. L., Wribbenhall Vicarage. (3.) 

Claughton, Rev. Canon, The College, Worcester. (2.) 

Cobham, Right Hon. Viscount, Hagley Park. 

Cole, Mr. Moses, Farfield House, 

Collins, Mr. Sam., Franchise Street. 

Cooper, Mr. S. Jehu, Bewdley Street. 

Cooper, Mr. T., Wollaston Street, Stourbridge, 

Corbet, Mr. Miller, Swan Street. 

Cornish Brothers, Birmingham. 

Cotton (the late), Mr. W. A., Bromsgrove. 

Cowell, Mr. Albert, Broomfield. 

Coxon, Alderman, Kidderminster. 

Crowther, Mr. Clement, Green Hill. 



( vii. ) 

Davies (the late) Mr. D. Lloyd, Wyre Court, Bewdley. 

Day, Mrs., The Woodlands, Habberley. 

Dixon, Mr. H. Jecks, Kidderminster. 

Dougall, Mr. A., Blakebrook. 

Downing, Mr. J. Marshall, Dowles. (2.) 

Downing, Mr. W., Birmingham. (2.) 

Elkington, Mr. F., Sion Hill, Wolverley. 

Fawkner, Mr. VV., Avenue House. 

Fenwick, Rev. J. E. A., Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham, 
flinch. Rev. W., The Monks, Chaddesley Corbett. 
Flowerdew, Mr. C. E. , School of Art. 

Gabb, Mr. L. A., Bewdley. 

Gibbons, Rev. B., M.A., Waresley House. (5.) 

Gibbs, Rev. W. C, M.A., Hagley Rectory. 

Godson, Mr. A. F., M.A,. M.P., Westwood Park. 

Goodwin (the late), Mr. D. W., The Elms. (3.) 

Goodwin, Mr. J. R., The Laurels. 

Grant, Mr. Charles, Roden Avenue. 

Grazebrook, Mr. H. Sydney, Chiswick. 

Green, Mr. W. Howe, Blakebrook. 

Greenall, Rev. T. W., M.A., Bishampton Rectory. 

Grindon, Miss, Comberton Road. 

Grosvenor, Mr. G. W., D.L., Broome House. 

Grove, Mr. R., sen.. Church Street. 

Grove, Mr. R., jun., Church Street. 

Guest, Mrs. Bird, Blakebrook. 

Harvey, Mr. J. J., The Grove (2.) 

Hall, Lieut. F. R. N., R.N., Broadway. 

Hallen, Rev. Cornelius, Alloa, N.B. 

Haycock, Mr. Harry E. , Manchester. 

Hemborow, Miss, Woodfield. 

Hepworth, Mr. Benjamin, Comberton Villa. 

Herring, Mr. Henry, Yew Tree House. 

Hill, Mr. T. Rowley, St. Catherine's Hill, Worcester. 

Hodgson, Rev. John, F.S.A., Kinver Rectory. 

Holdsworth, Mr. G., Kidderminster. 

Holland, Mr. John B., Farfield. 

Hooper, Mr. J. H., M.A., Diocesan Registry, Worcester. 

Homfray, Mr. Alfred, Broadwaters House. 

Hughes, Mr. Edward, Town Carpet Mills. 

Hughes, Mr. F. , Trimpley. 

Hughes, Mr. Fred., Trimpley. 

Hughes, Mr. Thos. W., Lome Street. 



( Vlii. ) 

Ingram, Rev. K. H. Winnington, M.A., Ribbesford Rectory 
[saac, Mr. Charles, The Limes. 
Ivens, Mr. T. F. . Comberton Road. 

James, Rev. Alfred, M.A., Burwarton Rectory. 
Jenkins, Mr. R., Mill Street. (lo. ) 
Jobson, Mr. Howard C, Summerhill. 

Kershaw, Rev. J. F., M.A., St. John's Vicarage. 
Killingbeck, Mr. John, Lark Hill. 
Knight, Mr. J., Ettingshall, Wolverhampton. 
Knight, Sir F. W. , K.C.B. , Wolverley House. 

Landon, Mr. Whittington, Bewdley. 

Lane, Rev. C. A., Forest Gate, E. 

Lea (the late), Venerable Archdeacon, Droitwich. 

Lea, Rev. F. Simcox, M.A., Tedstone Delamere Rectory. 

Lea, Rev. T. Simcox, M.A. , Tedstone Delamere. 

Lea, Rev. Josiah T. , Far Forest Vicarage, 

Lea, Mr. J. W. Birmingham. 

Lea, Mr. Thomas, M.P. , The Larches. 

Lea, Miss Isabella, Whitville. 

Lloyd, Mr. S. Zachary, Areley Hall. 

London Library, St. James's Square, S.W. 

Lymington, Right Hon. Viscountess, Hurstborne Park, Hants, 

Manby, Mr. Cordy, Wassell Wood. 

Mark, Mr. T., Brookfield. (6.) 

Mayne, Mrs., Oaklands. 

Meredith, Mr. J. T., Bank Buildings. 

Moore, Rev. O. A., M.A. , Summer Place. 

Morton, Mr. E. J., M.A., Heathfield, Wolverley. (2.) 

Morton, Mr. James, Dairy mple. 

Mottram, Rev. C. P., M.A., Doverdale Rectory. 

Ouseley (the late). Sir F. G., Bart., St. Michael's College, 
Tenbury. 

Penny, Mr. W., Church Street. 

PhiUipps (the late), J. O. Halliwell, F.R.S., Hollingbury 

Copse, Brighton. 
Phillips, Rev. Sidney, M.A. , The Vicarage. (2.) 
Phillips, Miss, The Infirmary. 
Pritchard, Mr. C. A., Upper Norwood, S.E. 
Piirdey, Mr. W. B., Kidderminster. 

Robertson, Rev. D., M.A., Hartlebury Rectory, (2,) 



( 1^- ) 

Robinson, Mr. Brooke, M.P., Barford House, Warwick. 
Ryland, Mr. J. W., Rowington, Warwick. 

Sanders, Rev. Canon S. J. W. , LL. D. , Northampton. 

Sharpe, Rev. John, D.D. , Elmley Lovett Rectory. 

Shaw, Mr. Edwin, The Newlands. 

Simpson, Rev. G. A. K., M.A., Sutton Coldfield. 

Smith, Mr. W. H., Hagley. 

Southwell, Mr. T. Martin, Bridgnorth. 

Spencer, Mr. W. F. , Spring Grove. 

Taylor, Mr. W., Mus. Bac, Church Street. 
Tempest-Radford, Mr. T., Severe Manor, Worcester, 
Thompson, Mr. R. J., Park Lane. 
Tomkinson, Mr. M., Franche Hall. (lo. ) 
Tucker, Mr. W., Franche Road. 

Vawdrey, Rev. D. , M.A., Areley Kings Rectory. 

Waddell, Mr. A. R., M.D., Kidderminster. 

Wadely, Mr. W., F.C.O., Blakebrook. 

Warner, Rev. C, M.A., Clun Vicarage, 

Watson, Mr. John, Waresley Court. (2.) 

Watson, Mr. R. Talbot, Honeybrooke. (2.) 

Whitcombe, Mr. R. H., Bewdley. 

Whittall, Mr. A., Kidderminster. 

Wilding, Rev. C. J., M.A. , Arley Vicarage. 

Wilson, Rev. J. Bowstead, M.A., Knightwick Rectory. 

Wilson, Mr. James, Birmingham. 

Woodward, Mr. Robert, M.A., Arley Castle. 

Woodward, Mrs. H. Toye, Franche Court. 

Worcester, Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of, Hartlebury Casile. 

Worcester, The Public Library. 






(X. ) 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 



The Monastery ., 
The Villenage .. 
The Baronage 
The Borough 
The Church 
The Nonconformists 
The Schools 
The Charities 
The Celebrities... 
The Manufactures 



CHAPTER 


n. 


CHAPTER 


HI. 


CHAPTER 


IV. 


CHAPTER 


V. 


CHAPTER 


VI. 


3 ... . . . 

CHAPTER 


VII. 


CHAPTER 


VIII. 


CHAPTER 


IX. 


CHAPTER 


X. 



CHAPTER XI. 



The Neighbourhood : — 
Clent 
Wolverley 
Hagley 
Stone 

Chaddesley Corbet 
Hartlebury 



APPENDIX. 

Domesday Book (Latin)... 

Charter of Henry II. (Latin)... 

The Parish Registers ... 

Bailiffs, High Stewards, Recorders, &c. 



Page. 

I 

9 

28 

54 
86 

134 

141 

146 

150 

171 

189 

193 

195 

197 

ig8 
201 



203 
203 
204 
222 



(xi. ) 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Map of Kidderminster (1753), by John Doharty, 

JuN. ... ... ... ... ... ...Frontispiece. 

Map of Land near Bewdley Heath (1704) ... Faces p. 16 

Memorial Brass of Maud Harmanville, Sir 

John Phelip, and Walter Cokesey ... ,, 

Monument of Sir Hugh Cokesey and Wife... ,, 

Monument of Thomas Blount and Wife 



40 
40 
40 



Monument of Sir Edward Blount and his 
Wives ... 



View of Kidderminster (1780) \ 
View of Kidderminster (i8go) ) 
Tower of All Saints' Church... 
All Saints' Church — North Side 
Richard Baxter ... 



Between pp. 



( 



40 

80 



(81 
... Faces p. 88 
... „ 89 



The Right Rev. T. L. Claughton, Bishop of 
St. Albans 

St. George's Church — North Side ... 

St. John's Church — S.W. View 

The Grammar School 

Sir Ralph Clare ... 

Sir Rowland Hill 



I2Q 

124 
128 
132 
141 

152 

162 



( xii. ) 



ADDENDA. 

As an illustration of the system of frankpledge (p. 56), the following is of 
interest ;— " In 30 Henry II. (1184) the villata of Kideministra was fined two 
marks, because it concealed before the Justices what was afterwards found 
out." (Madox: Firma Burgi, p. 57 h.) 



The remnant of the mediaeval churchyard cross has been moved to a more 
eastwardly position, and is replaced by a massive one with the following 
inscription :— " In piam memoriam Patris Matris Majorum Cognatorum 
intra sacros hos fines quiescentium Signum Fidei Spei Salutis asterna; 
Crucem jampridem labefactatam Filius reficiendam curavit. A.D. 

MDCCCLXXVI." 



Lower Mytton. — The population of the parish in 1881 was 4997, the 
acreage 2106, and value of benefice ;^6oo with residence. The flagon, two 
chalices, and two patens were presented by the Rev. Charles Turner Farley. 
The handsome lectern was given by the Rev. B. Gibbons. 

Incumbents. 



I 193] • 


. Philip. 


1779 


John Grubb. 


1552 . 


. W. Spytull. 


1781 


Francis Baines. 


1663 . 


. Timothy Kirk. 


1782 


. David Davies, M.A. 


1669 . 


Edward Thomas. 


1829 


. Charles Wharton, M.A. 


I67I . 


John Brown. 


1850 


. . Stephen Rd. Waller, 


1692 


. Nathaniel Williams, 


1861 


Benjamin Gibbons, 




B.A. 




M.A. 


1694 . 


Jonathan Cotton. 







CORRIGENDA. 

Page 34, line 21, for " Suffold " read Suffolk. 

Page 82, line 15, for " 1828 " read 1830. 

Page 85, lines 9, 10, correct census returns appear to be : — 

1851. Borough, 17,033 ; Foreign, 3,819 : total, 20,852. 
1861. Borough, 13,978 ; „ 3,932 ; „ 17,910. 

Page 126, line i, for " Rectors " read Vicars. 

Page 128, last line, for " Heming " read Hemming. 

Page 157, line 6, for " vimamus " read vivamus. 



CHAPTER I. 



^bc noonaetcr^. 




T is believed that Kidderminster may lay 
some claim to British origin ; and that 
Roman forts existed at Sudwale (near 
Sutton) and at Wribbenhall, on the 
" Portway," a road leading from Wor- 
cester to Wroxeter, the ancient Unconiuni. 
(Hardwkk Add. MSS., British, Museum, 
No. 31,003.) " Wal " in a place-name 
is often an indication of Roman occupa- 
tion. The " Portway" ran through Upper Arley, and in Wul- 
frune's Saxon grant to the Canons of Wolverhampton it is 
called " The Street," In Arley Wood, near this path, a vast 
Roman Camp, square and treble-ditched, is yet remaining, 
(Nash, vol, ii,, app. i.) Another Roman road out of Salop passes 
Stourbridge, Hagley, Clent, Bellington House in Chaddesley, 
and through part of Kidderminster parish, towards Worcester. 
(lb., app. cviii,, and Midland Antiqiiavy, vol. ii., No. 6.) Some 
ancient querns or millstones, supposed to be Roman, were dug 
up in 1879 under the floor of an outbuilding of the " Three 
Tuns," about 30 yards from the Stour. In the same place was 
found a Roman coin of the Emperor Constantine II. (A.D. 337- 
340), Sepulchral urns containing calcined bones were also 
found in Dowles brick-yard in 1882, and a coin of Tiberius at 
Button Oak about 1780. These are indications that in Roman 
times a civilised people had already taken up their abode in 
this neighbourhood. 



2 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

After the departure of the Romans came the struggle between 
the Britons and the Saxon invaders, which was especially fierce 
on the Severn Valley. By the battle of Deorham in A.D. 571 
the West Saxons were able to penetrate up the Severn as far 
as Shrewsbury ; and for several miles along the river side their 
course would be through the district afterwards included 
in the great parish of Kidderminster, then chiefly consisting 
of woods, swamps, heather, and gorse. Perhaps on their way 
the Britons made a stand at the old entrenched camp near 
Trimpley, still bearing the name of Wassell or Wars-hill. In 
A.D. 626 various tribes of Saxons and Angles who had come 
more recently to our shores were united under Penda in the last 
of the Saxon kingdoms, the Mercia or boundary kingdom which 
afterwards stretched from the Fens to the Severn, and from the 
Thames to the Humber. The greater part of Worcestershire 
(including Kidderminster), and parts of Gloucestershire and 
Warwickshire, formed the subordinate province of the Wiccii or 
Hwiccas. Mercia was the last of the Saxon kingdoms to 
embrace Christianity. In A.D. 635 Penda, its heathen king, 
was defeated by Oswald of Northumbria at Winwood. His 
successor, Peada, married a daughter of the Northumbrian 
King, and was baptized by Finian and brought back four 
priests to evangelise his Mercians. Two Wiccian princes were 
baptized in A.D. 661, and before A.D. 675 religious buildings 
were founded in the principality, at Deerhurst and Tewkesbury. 
In A.D. 680 Bosel was consecrated first Bishop of Worcester, 
his jurisdiction extending over all the ancient province of the 
Wiccas, until Henry VIII. founded the Bishopric of Gloucester. 
The Christianity of the Midlands was consequently derived 
from Lindisfarne and lona, not from Canterbury. 

Amongst a people rude and violent in character, destitute of 
all learning, almost ignorant of agriculture, and whose heaven 
was supposed to be a perpetual hunting-ground, the religion 
and manners of the Christian teachers worked a most beneficent 
change. Green (Conquest of England, page 8) speaks of " the 
revolution which was wrought by the planting of a Church on 
the soil with its ecclesiastical organization, its bishops, its 
priests, its court, and its councils, its language, its law, above 
all the new impulse given to political consolidation by the 



THE MONASTERY. 



building up of Britain into a single religious communion. From 
the cradle to the grave it forced on the Englishman a new law 
of conduct, new habits, new conceptions of life and society. It 
entered above all into that sphere within which the individual 
will of the freeman had been till now supreme, the sphere of 
the home ; it curtailed his powers over child and wife and 
slave ; it forbade infanticide, the putting away of wives, or 
cruelty to the serf. It proclaimed slavery an evil, war an evil, 
manual labour a virtue. It met the feud face to face by 
denouncing revenge. It held up gluttony and drunkenness, the 
very essence of the old English feast, as sins. It interfered with 
labour-customs by prohibitions of toil on Sundays and holy- 
days." 

The Kings of Mercia soon saw how good it was for their 
people that centres of religion and learning should be planted 
throughout their dominions ; and so it came to pass that on the 
banks of the Stour, amid the tangled woods, the homes of 
wolves and other wild animals, there was heard the sound of 
the axe, and a little wooden church arose — the mother church 
of Christianity in this district. Rude houses clustered around 
it, with gardens and open field, the felled part of the woods ; 
and^thus originated the monastery of Ceadde or Cedd, of which 
all the traces here have long been swept away, except only 
the name Kidder-minster, which has survived to tell the story. 

The monks in those times, like many missionaries in our own 
day, did not disdain to wield the axe and follow the plough ; 
they built bridges ; they set up mills ; they were the best gar- 
deners and farmers ; they knew something of medicine and 
painting ; and some of them could read and write. At their 
head were often to be found princes and princesses and men 
of noble birth. Men and women who longed for the higher life 
of religion and peace in a turbulent age found within them an 
asylum and shelter. 

Of course, before the minster was founded this wild district 
must have had some other designation, derived from its natural 
features. It was on the Stour (probably the Celtic Ys, flowing, 
Dwr, water). But as the Stour is 30 miles in length, some 
further appellation must be added to denote the locality, and 



A HISTORY GF KIDDERMINSTER. 



this was supplied by a succession of large pools, now called 
" Broadwaters," through which a brook passes. This the 
Saxons called Us-mere (Us=Ouse, flowing water, and Mere, a 
pool or lake). In the time of William the Conqueror in a deed 
describing the boundaries between Kidderminster and Wolver- 
ley, the "Broadwaters" is called Us-mere. There is also a 
house near Hurcott still called " Ismere House," 

The original name, then, was " at-Sture-in-Usmere," and in 
the British Museum (Vitellius C 9, fol. 126) there is fortunately 
preserved for us a Saxon deed which throws a clear light on the 
origin of our town. It runs as follows : — 

" 1 Ethelbald, by the gift of the Lord, King not only of the Mercians but 
of all the provinces which are called by the general name of South-Angles, 
for the benefit of my soul, do grant to the possession of the Church a certain 
portion of land, to wit ten cassats, to my venerable Earl Cyniberht to build 
a monastery in the district of the Husmers, near the river which is called 
Stour : so that as long as he lives he shall have the power of holding it, or of 
giving it up to any one he wishes whilst he lives, or at his death. And the 
aforesaid land is on both sides of the above-named river having on the north 
a wood which they call Cynibre [ ? Kinver ] , and on the west another called 
Moerheb [perhaps Eymore] of which the greatest part belongs to the said 
land. 

" But if anyone shall be tempted to violate this gift let him know that he 
shall render a terrible account to God for his tyranny and presumption. 
This charter is written in the year from the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus 
Christ 736 and in the 4th of our reign. 

" I iEthelbald the King subscribe, confirming my own donation 

" I Wor Bishop agree and subscribe 

" I Wilfrid Bishop [4th Bishop of Worcester] 

" I .iEthelric Subregulus of Aethelbald 

" I Ibeacsi unworthy abbot 

" I Heardberht brother and duke of the aforesaid King 

" Ebbella Ovoc comes Cusa 

" Bercol Sigebed Pede 

" Oba Ealduuft." • 

Power was given in the above charter to Earl Cyniberht to 
leave the property to whom he would ; and about forty years 
later (A.D. 775) we find that his son Abbot Ceolfrith devised to 
the Church of Worcester, " where presided the venerable 
Bishop Milred " (5th Bishop, 743 — 775), twenty manses at a 

* Printed in Heming, vol. ii., p. 555 ; Dugdale Mojias., i., 121. The readings 
are somewhat different. 



THE MONASTERY. 



famous place called Heanberi, together with fourteen cassats at 
Sture in the province of Usmere. {Dugdale, i., p. 608 ; also in 
Hemmg, and Kemble's Codex Diplomaticus.) 

Another charter, beautifully written on vellum, and preserved 
in the British Museum (Tiberius A 13, fol. 106), tells of the 
settlement of a dispute- six years later between King Offa and 
the Bishop of Worcester concerning lands at various places, 
including Stour-in-Usmere. It may be translated thus : — 

" + In the name of God most high. Times succeed to times, and through 
constant changes it comes to pass that words spoken long ago become in 
vain unless we confirm them by writings. Wherefore I Heathored by the 
dispensation of God the suppliant [supplex) Bishop of the Huiccii, most 
diligently inquiring jointly with the consent and advice of my whole house- 
hold, which is founded in Huugerna city, have thought and examined 
concerning its peace and ecclesiastical state. We have had indeed a dispute 
with Offa King of the Mercians and our most dearly beloved lord. For he 
said that we without any hereditary right unjustly kept the inheritance of 
his relation to wit King Aethelbald that is in a place which is called aet 
Beathum xc manses and in many other places, that is at Stretforda xxx 
cassats, at Sture xxxviii. In like manner he claims at Sture in Usmere xiv 
manses, at Breodune xii, in Homtune xvii cassats. But the aforesaid cause of 
contention was settled in a synodal council held in a place which is called at 
Bregentforda. We have therefore restored to the aforementioned King Offa 
that very celebrated monastery at Bathum without any dispute to hold or to 
assign to any one he should think proper & to be enjoyed for ever by his 
proper heirs : and we have also added on the South side of the River which 
is called Eafen (Avon) xxx cassats, land which we purchased for a fair sum 
of Cynewulf King of the West Saxons. Wherefore the aforesaid King Offa, 
in satisfaction of this compensation made to him, & for unanimity of the 
strongest peace, hath granted the aforementioned places at Stretforda, at 
Sture, at Breodune, in Homtune, at Sture in Usmere, beyond all cause of contro- 
versy, with that liberty to our abovementioned church that is in Uugenta 
city, that they shall not be subject to any greater cess than the obligation of 
the building of forts, the constructing of bridges, and pasturage for the King 
and his attendants. 

" Now therefore I Ofifa by the grace of God have subscribed with my own 
hand the sign of the most sacred Cross of Christ, for assurance of its being 
confirmed, lambertus Archbishop sitting with me, and all the Bishops 
Abbots & Princes have consented & subscribed to the same. 

" This deed is written at Bregentforda in the year of the Incarnation of 
Christ DCCLXXXI. 

" Offa King of the Mercians 
" laenberht Archbishop 



6 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

" Berhtwald, Brorda, Princes 
" Eudbald, Esne, Eadbald, Eadberht, Presbyters 

" Eadbcrht, Hygeberht, Aethelmod, Ecgbald, Ceolwulf, Diera, Aethelwutf, 
Heardred, Heathoredus, Gisthul, Eadberht, Aldberht, Bishops."* 

It is not easy to reconcile the King's conduct in now laying 
claim to Sture-in-Usmere with his previous approval of Ceol- 
frith's bequest ; but from other sources we know that he was a 
violent, unscrupulous man with whom *' might was right," and 
that this act was quite in keeping with his character. 

Under the rule of the Bishops of Worcester for 40 years the 
monastery must have prospered ; and many spots of waste land 
were reclaimed, forming the " tons " or enclosures for farm 
buildings that we find in Domesday Book, such as Wanner-ton, 
Mede-ton, Sud-ton, Olding-ton, Bristi-ton, Pokels-ton, &c. 

If Kinver Wood was the boundary on the north, the old 
district of Sture-in-Usmere must have included Wolverley and 
Cookley, which were also being settled. On the other extremity 
Ribbesford and Wribbenhall (including the land whereon 
Bewdley now stands) formed part of this extensive domain. 

In A.D. 816 Deneberht, Bishop of Worcester, made an 
exchange with Kenulph, King of Mercia. In return for liberties 
at Hmiitinton, Speacleahtun, Teoluualdicotan, Weogornea-leage, and 
Ceaddes-leage the Bishop assigned to the King xiv. manses in two 
allotments at a place called " at Sture." We may feel a certain 
doubt as to whether this refers to Kidderminster from the 
omission of the " In Usmere." But, as Dr. McCave well puts 
it, " we are satisfied with Bishop Tanner that it is Sture-in- 
Usmere. On the one hand the land in question belonged to 
the Church of Worcester, and Deneberht was resigning it for 
liberties in four places, one of which was neighbour to Sture-in- 
Usmere, Ceaddesleah or Chaddesley, On the other hand, the 
amount of land was precisely fourteen manses ; and fourteen at 
Sture-in-Usmere had been granted by Abbot Ceolfrith to the 
Church of Worcester ; fourteen under the same description had 
been confirmed to Worcester diocese by King Offa. These 
fourteen, according to Kenulfs charter, were in two allotments, 

* Also printed in Heming, pp. 224-227 ; Kemble, Cod. Dip., i., p. 170. See 
also Dugd. Monas., i., p. 138. 



T^E MoMASTIiRV. 



' duobus in curtis ' ; and similarly Ethelbald's grant at Sture-in- 
Usmere consisted of two allotments, ten original cassats near the 
river Stour with additional land in Moerheb Wood." If further 
confirmation is needed, we find that Wolverley and Kidder- 
minster henceforth appear as Crown property. In A.D. 854 
Burhred, King of Mercia, gave the Wolverley portion to Bishop 
Aelhun ; W^illiam I, gave Cookley (Culleclive) " a certain 
member of Wolverley" to St. Wulstan ; and Kidderminster 
itself remained Royal demesne till the time of Henry II. 

For more than 200 years from A.D. 854 there is almost a 
complete blank in our history, and these two centuries are more 
sad than any that England passed through since she became a 
nation. The country was devastated by hordes of heathen 
Danes, who especially wreaked their vengeance on the religious 
buildings and their occupants. There is no express mention of 
Kidderminster, but we can easily conjecture its fate from what 
befel its neighbours. Nearly all Mercia lay prostrate at the 
feet of the Danes ; and Burhred the King and Werefrith the 
Bishop both fled the country in despair. Everywhere the 
monasteries were destroyed and their inmates murdered. But 
this is a matter of general history. Coming nearer home we 
read in the Chroyiicles of Worcester Church (Heming, ii., p. 406), 
" Meanwhile the Countess Godgiva [the famous Lady Godiva 
of Coventry] hearing of S. Wolstan's goodness, loved him 
exceedingly, and assisted him in the divers needs of this age ; 
and at her entreaties her husband, to wit Earl Leofric, gave the 
church of Worcester two estates called Blakewell and Wolver- 
ley, which heretofore the Danes and other adversaries of God 
had seized upon with violence, and had totally alienated from 
the said church." Again, (Heming, p. 251), " In the time of 
King Ethelred Clifton, Ham, Eastham, Burford, Tenbury, and 
Kyre, with all the surrounding districts, were subject to our 
church of Worcester. But when this province had been plun-" 
dered and most mercilessly devastated, and the Danes had 
taken and violently kept possession of nearly all that province : 
Earl Hacun and his soldiers invaded the aforesaid lands and 
many others with cruel violence, and kept them when seized 
for their own property. But finally his wife Gunhilda, seeing 
that it had been done unjustly, instead of the service of the 



8 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



land, caused to be made for us a certain gilded image of St. 
Mary. But nevertheless even until now the lands have been 
alienated from sacred uses." A further extract from Heining 
(i., p. 256) refers to one of the Domesday hamlets of Kidder- 
minster itself:— "The Danes took away by violence from the 
monastery the village of Ribbesford, v/hose villeins were 
required to provide us with fishing nets and hunting imple- 
ments as often as we required them." Ribbesford apparently 
had not changed its owner with the rest of the manor; for in 
about A.D. 1002 it was given by Bishop Wulfstan the 
" Reprobate " as part of the dowry of his sister for her life. 

We see that Wolverley and Ribbesford were devastated 
during the Danish invasion, and we may wonder why no men- 
tion is made of Kidderminster, which lay between them, and 
which undoubtedly shared the same fate. But the omission is 
a natural one. The monkish historian is writing the annals of 
his own monastery ; and we have seen above that in A.D. 816 
Kidderminster (Sture) was given to the King ; consequently 
the monastery had no further interest in its fortunes. If as this 
work proceeds the reader is inclined to think an undue propor- 
tion of it is devoted to ecclesiastical matters, he should 
remember that we are indebted to the clergy for nearly all we 
know about the ancient history of our country ; and that they 
would naturally write most about matters coming under their 
own observation or concerning themselves. 

Tanner in his Notitia Monastica catalogues the monastery of 
Sture (Kidderminster) as a " destroyed monastery." Its 
destruction was without doubt wrought by the Danes — a 
destruction so thorough that we never again meet with a single 
line to tell us the monastery had ever existed. Where the 
building stood we know not ; what scenes of horror were per- 
petrated here when it perished we know not ; but the minster 
that lay a heap of ruins nearly 1000 years ago has left a name 
behind it now known throughout the world. 



^y^/h^^j^ 



THE VILLENAGE. 



CHAPTER II 



^bc IMllcimijc. 




URING the three centuries which elapsed between 
the foundation of the monastery and the Norman 
Conquest many of the most fertile spots in the 
wild district at-StJire-in-Usvieve had been brought 
into cultivation, and had received those distinc- 
tive place-names which we know so well. The 

minster as paramount in importance naturally gave its name 

to the whole parish. 

The etymology of the word Kidderminster is a moot point. It 
is markworthy that the letter R in the second syllable does not 
appear earlier than the time of Henry III.''' The most probable 
conjecture is that it denotes the minster either of St. Chad or 
his almost equally famous brother St. Cedd. Both were the great 
Apostles of the Midlands, the former being ist Bishop of Lich- 
field (A.D. 665), the latter afterwards Bishop of London (A.D. 
664). In Somerset, Chedesforda (Domesday) has become Kittis- 
ford. The Saxon form of Chad was Ceadde, and the letter C 
being pronounced hard, the name would sound as Keadde- 
minster. The neighbouring parish of Chaddesley was formerly 
spelt Ceaddesley, but the initial letter has been softened. In 
Domesday Book, where the name first occurs in a written form, 
it is Chideminstre, but Ch was used by the Norman scribes to 
express the K sound, e.g., Chent (Kent), Chenfare (Kinver), 
Chemesey (Kenisey), &c. Another supposition is that Earl 
Cyniberht the founder gave his name to the monastery, which 
was thus called Cyniberts-minster. Others again go back to 

* In Great Roll of 30 Henry II., Kideministra ; 11 John, KUleministre ; 
17 Henry III., Kidaininistr' . Not till 54 Henry III. (1270), Kcdirmiiistye. 
B 



lo A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



the Celtic Kid, a hill, and Dwr, water ; whence we get " the 
minster on the hill near the water." 

About 800 years ago the curtain is drawn aside for a moment, 
and we have a most interesting peep at Kidderminster under 
its new name. In A.D, io85 the Domesday Book was compiled 
by order of William I., and the original is still preserved at the 
Chapter House, Westminster. As this is by far the most 
valuable record of our past history, the exact Latin text will be 
given in an appendix. The translation runs as follows : — 

" King William holds Chideminstre in demesne with sixteen Berewicks : 
— Wenvertun (Wannerton), Trinpeli (Trimpley), Worcote (Hurcote), Fre- 
nesse (Franche), and another Frenesse, Bristitune (Puxton ?), Harburgelei 
(Habberley), Fastochesfelde, Gurbehale (Wribbenhall), Ribeford (Ribbes- 
ford), and another Ribeford, Sudtone (Sutton), Aldintone (Oldington), 
Mettune (Mitton), Teulesberge (Agborovv ?), and Sudwale. 

" In these lands there are, together with the manor, 20 hides. This manor 
was all waste. There is one plough in demesne, and 20 villeins, and 30 
bordars with 18 plough-teams, and 20 ploughs more may be employed there. 
There are 2 serfs and 4 serving women, 2 mills of 16 shillings, 2 salt works of 
30 shillings, and a fishery of 100 pence. A wood of 4 miles. 

" The Reve holds the land of a Radknight in this manor, and has a plough 
of five orse. One house in Wich (Droitwich), and another in Worcester, 
rendering ten pence, belong to this manor ; the whole of which paid 14 
pounds rent in the time of King Edward. It now pays 10 pounds 4 shillings 
by weight. The King has afforested the wood belonging to this manor. 

" William holds one hide of the land of this manor, and the land of a Rad- 
knight, and has one villein there and eight bordars having four ploughs and 
a half. It is worth eleven shillings. Aiulf holds a virgate of the same land. 
There is a plough and two serfs. It is worth two shillings." 

King William the Conqueror was the owner of nearly all the 
parish. His land contained 20 hides, that is about 2400 acres 
of arable land, together with extensive commons and four miles 
of wood. The rental of the land was £10 4s. by weight 
annually — ^just one penny per acre. This rental was derived 
from a number of tenants who were in the condition of bond 
servants, and attached to the soil, but in different degrees of 
servitude. The money payment formed but a small part of the 
lord's dues. The villeins held their land on the obligation of 
working for the lord so many days each week, according to the 
custom of the particular manor. In the King's demesne or 
home farm, which probably comprised the present borough of 



THE VILLENAGE. n 

Kidderminster, as distinct from the " foreign," was only one 
plough-team. But there were 20 villeins and 30 bordars, having 
amongst them 18 plough-teams. Each villein or bordar had 
his own piece of land, and was also expected to plough, harrow, 
sow, and reap the lord's demesne. 

The Provost, Reve, or Bayliff was the head man of the 
village, and under the direction of the lord's steward he regu- 
lated the work due from the villeins on the lord's estate. At 
Kidderminster he held as a special privilege the land of a Rad- 
knight, an officer whose duty was to ride in attendance upon his 
lord when he went from manor to manor. It was easier, when 
roads were bad, for the lord to move with his retinue from place 
to place, and stay at each till he had consumed the year's pro- 
duce of the land. William son of Ansculf, Lord of Dudley, had 
about 160 acres cultivated by one villein and eight bordars with 
four and a half plough-teams. Aiulf had 30 A. with a plough - 
team and two serfs. The exact enumeration o{ ploughs (carucae) 
was made on account of a tax called Canicagitim, levied on every 
plough. Under the liability to such a tax there must have been 
a temptation to conceal the real number of ploughs employed. 
Hence the surve3'ors are careful to note that " 20 plough-teams 
more may be emplo3'-ed there." (Hale.) It is strange that we 
have no mention of a church or priest, though less than 100 
years after this we find a rector here with considerable endow- 
ment, and Kidderminster giving its name to a very extensive 
Rural Deanery. There were two bondmen and four bond- 
women, who were of the lowest scale in social position : they 
were at the arbitrary disposal of their lord, only their lives and 
limbs being under the protection of the law. Some were slaves 
by birth ; others, who could not pay the wer or damages awarded 
against them, or criminals whose lives were forfeited, became 
slaves to escape the punishment of death. A valuable appen- 
dage to the manor was a house at Droitwich, and this will help 
us to understand the mention of " 2 salt works of 30 shillings " 
included in the manor. It is not likely that the salt works were 
at Kidderminster ; and we have three similar instances in 
Domesda}^ of Burgenses of W'ich attached to distant manors. 
Another tenant was allowed to live in Worcester for the pur- 
poses of trade, but he still remained a member of the manor of 



12 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Kidderminster. Mills were of the first necessity in a manor, 
and were a source of revenue to the lord, by whom they were 
sustained for the common benefit, and in return enjoyed the 
monopoly of grinding for the manor. Heavy penalties were 
exacted for any breach of this rule. In olden times the miller 
was next in importance to the lord and the rector. One of 
the mills mentioned was undoubtedly our Town Mill, which 
after grinding by water power for looo years, has lately called 
in the more powerful aid of steam ; the second was probably 
the mill at Mytton. If Domesday Book gives a complete list 
of the households of Kidderminster in 1086, we may make a 
guess at the population. We have — 

Radknights 2, suppose an average of 4 in household ... 8 



Villeins 21, 

Bordarii 38, 

Servi 4, 

Ancillse 4, 



84 

152 
16 

4 



264 
Winter roots and artificial grasses were then unknown in 
England, so the valuable fertile meadows regularly watered 
by the Stour were kept exclusively in the lord's hands, and 
became the " borough," while portions of the outlying district 
or " foreign " were assigned to the villeins. Our Mill Street and 
Church Street were probably the first to be settled, and the 
Town Bridge would be a necessity to connect the Mill with the 
district on the other side of Stour. To this centre the main 
roads would converge. 

As Royal demesne Kidderminster in very early times enjoyed 
various privileges, and its tenants were " quit of toll, pannage, 
murage, stallage, carriage, picage, lastage, pontage, and passage 
throughout our whole realm of England, and to be quit of con- 
tributions of the expenses of knights coming to our Parliaments, 
and ought not to be placed in assize, juries, or recognizances, 
except only in those which ought to be made in the courts of 
the manor." As a counterbalance to the power of the great 
nobles, the Kings of England fostered the growth of towns, 
especially those in their own domains ; and the mere produc- 



THE VILLENAGE. 13 

tion of a copy of Domesday Book by Queen Elizabeth's 
Treasurer of the Exchequer in 1586, wherein it was recited 
" King WiUiam holds Chideminstre in demesne," was consi- 
dered as satisfactory proof that all these privileges belonged of 
right to the town. 

After Domesday Book there is a complete blank in our 
history for 70 years. The manor, administered by a steward 
and bailiff, descended in turn to William IL, Henry I., and 
Stephen ; and as this district was not apparently disturbed by 
the civil wars, the population would be gradually increasing, 
and more of the waste land would be taken into cultivation. In 
1 154 Henry H. came to the throne, and soon afterwards he 
granted a charter conveying the manor of Kidderminster to one 
of his faithful followers, Manser Biset, his Dapifer, Cupbearer, 
or " Gentleman Sewer." The original charter, on vellum, is 
still in the possession of the Corporation of Kidderminster, and 
reads thus : — 

Translation. 

" Henry the King, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, Earl (of Anjou), to 
the Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Barons, Sheriffs, Ministers, and all his 
faithful ones of France and England greeting. Know ye that I have given 
(and) granted (in fee) and inheritance to Manser Bysett, my steward, for his 
service, in Worcestershire, Kidderminster for /'ao ; in Wiltshire, Combe for 
£26 ; in Gloucestershire, Wikewood for ;^io ; in Hampshire, Dounreston for 
/8 ; and the Burgage of Rokebon with the Hundred and with all its appur- 
tenances for £j^i, and the appurtenances of Lechedesham. And furthermore 
I have given him Wadersey, which used to pay to my mother yearly 20 sh. to 
wit, in Wichenford. Wherefore I will and firmly command that the same 
Manser and his heirs have and hold these lands aforesaid of me and my 
heirs, well and in peace and honourably and hereditarily, in wood, in plain, 
in meadows, pastures, in ways and paths, and in all places, with soke and 
sake, and toll and theam, and infangthief and outfangthief, and with all 
liberties and free customs wherewith any of my Barons of England holds 
best, and most quietly, and most honourably. Witness me myself, Thomas 
the Chancellor, Reginald Earl of Cornwall, William Earl of Leicester, Henry 
of Essex the Constable, R. de Ham, Robert de Lacy, Warine son of Bernard, 
Josceline Baret, Robert de Dunstable. At Canterbury." 

The privileges conferred on Manser Biset by this charter are 
very extensive. Soke and sake authorised him to administer 
justice within his lordship, to try causes arising among his 
tenants and vassals, and impose fines on them for their offences, 



14 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Tol gave liberty to buy and sell within the precincts of the 
manor, and to charge a duty for passage, buying, and selling 
in it; and also freedom from toll in other markets. Tlieam 
gave him power to try bondsmen and villeins in his court, and 
to dispose of them, their wives and goods, at his pleasure. 
Infangthicf and outfangthief permitted him to punish thieves com- 
mitting theft in his liberty, whether they resided in it or not. 

The first witness of the charter next to the King is Thomas 
the Chancellor, that is the famous Thomas a Becket, who held 
the office from 1155 till 1162, when he resigned on becoming 
Archbishop of Canterbury. This fixes the date within a narrow 
compass. 

The reader will have noticed in Domesday Book that " the 
King has afforested the wood belonging to this manor," More 
was implied in this than the mere preservation of the game. 
" The common law ran only where the plough ran. Marsh and 
moor and woodland knew no master but the King, no law but 
his absolute will." (Green.) This was a serious limitation to 
the lord's power, so in 11 John (1210) we find that Henry Biset, 
a successor of Manser, stood charged /"loo to the King for 
having his wood of Borlese (Burlish) ; and that that wood and 
his manor of Kedeministre might be de-afforested, as they were 
perambulated by the view of H. de Nevill and knights of the 
county. {Maj. Rot. 1 1 John, rot. 6 b. See Nash, Introduction 
Ixix. f.) 

Leaving a more detailed account of the Biset family for 
another chapter, we will follow the fortunes of the town and its 
people. Henry Biset, son of Manser, before A.D. 1200, granted 
to Ralph de Auxeville, probably a Norman knight, " one 
hundred shillings worth (solidatas) of land, to wit 14s. from my 
lord's mill of Kedemynstre, my whole mill of Mytton, the whole 
vill of Oldyngton, and the whole vill of Comberton, to be held 
by him and his heirs of me and my heirs, by rendering annually 
one Hostorium-soer or 55. ; and it shall rest in the choice of the 
aforesaid Ralph to pay which of the two he prefers. Witnesses : 
Geoffrey Talbot, Hugh de Augere, Robert de Brinkworth, &c." 
(Wanley MS., page 166.) 

Manser Biset in his lifetime had founded a convent for 



THE VILLENAGE. 15 

leprous women on his wife's property at Maiden Bradley, in 
Wiltshire ; and we shall see how, through what was at first 
only a slender thread, the monks gradually gained a firm hold 
in Kidderminster, and ultimately owned nearly half the parish. 
Their first acquisition was from the above-named Ralph de 
Auxeville of " one Native, with his sons, daughters, house, land, 
tenement, and appurtenances." The Kidderminster man who 
was thus transferred with all his belongings was named William 
de Acheborne, and the convent in return was to pay 2s. 8i. a 
year to Ralph de Auxeville. (Wanley MS.) 

A time of peril soon came to the lord of Comberton and 
Oldington. Either in John's wars with the French or in the 
quarrel with the Barons, Ralph was imprisoned and threatened 
with death. The leprous sisters and monks of Maiden Bradley 
came to the rescue, and provided him with the ransom of 100 
marks, and in return for this kindness he made the following 
grant : — 

" Know all men present and to come, that I Ralph de Auxeville have given 
to the Leprous Sisters of Bradley and to the Brethren serving God there, 
one virgate [30 acres] of land in Oldington which Thomas the son of Gilbert 
and William the Turnur held, and another virgate of land in the same vill 
which Edred and Brien held ; and moreover two virgates of land in jJie 
same vill which Esebern and Osbert his brother, and Osbert Wade and 
William de Freinsh held. And also at Comberton one virgate of land which 
Edred and Reginalda the widow held ; and 14s. to be received annually 
from the Great Mill of Kideminstre, and the whole Mill of Mytton with its 
appurtenances. And the aforesaid Leprous Sisters shall have these lands and 
rents, with the men holding the lands and their services, by rendering 
thence to me and my heirs one pound of cumin annually at the feast of S. 
Michael or twopence ; and to the Lord of Kideminstre 5s. And in return 
for this my donation the aforesaid Leprous Sisters and Brethren have given 
to me 100 marcs sterling to redeem my body from prison and from death." 
(Wanley MS., pp. 51-53.) 

A portion of Comberton and Oldington still remained to 
Ralph de Auxeville ; but soon these acres followed the rest, and 
in 1227 we find a further grant : — 

" I Ralph dc Auxeville have given to God and the Blessed Mary and the 
Leprous Sisters of Bradley one virgate of land in Comberton which Geoffrey 
de Freinsh and Osbert son of Orderic held, and half a virgate of land in the 
same vill which Edwin son of Edwin held ; and one virgate of land at 
Oldington which Thomas the son of Edwin held, and one virgate which Ivo 



i6 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

held in the same vill, and one virgate which William and Edred Snel held, 
and. half a virgate at Comberton which William the Smith held, &c., for the 
soul of my lord Henry Biset, and for my soul, and for the souls of all my 
ancestors and heirs. Witnesses, Hugh de Aug., Henry de Ribelf., William 
Chaplain of Beverel, Hugh Mustell, Calixtus, Dean, Adam de Hurecot, 
Adam Penstant." Endorsed : " This Charter was enrolled in the presence 
of Stephen de Segrave and his fellow Justiciaries at Worcester. In the 
reign of H. son of King John xi." (Madox : Form. Anglic, p. 255,) 

Upon this follows the confirmation of Walter de Auxeville, 
brother and heir of the aforesaid Ralph. 

After this short tenure of the unfortunate Ralph de Auxeville, 
Comberton, Oldington, and the Mill -of Mytton were the pro- 
perty of Maiden Bradley convent, and so remained for more 
than 300 years. The monks appear to have managed their 
property well, and it was probably for the convenience of their 
tenants that previous to A.D. 12 14 there was founded the chapel 
of S. Michael at Mytton. One of the brethren would be pre- 
sent on S. Michael's day to pay the lord's rent, and this would 
enable him also to attend the dedication festival at the same 
time. 

Shortly afterwards other portions of Oldington came into the 
hands of the monks : — 

" I Nicholas son of Ivo de Oldington have released to Sir John Prior of 
Maiden Bradley, &c., all that messuage which Nicholas Balle held of me in 
the vill of Oldington, as it is enclosed with a wall and a ditch, also that 
house in Oldington which Goditha the widow held, &c." 

On Aug. I, 1226, King Henry III. visited the town; and 
again in 1233, June 3, he was here, and issued an order 
in which he commanded the Sheriff of Hampshire to cause 
a wainscotted chamber in his palace of Winchester to be 
painted with the same figures it had been ornamented with 
before. Where he lodged we do not know. Probably at the 
Hall between Hall-street and the church. 

In A.D. 1235 an agreement was made between William, Prior 
of Maiden Bradley, and Geoffrey Stertwine, of Nether Mytton : 
" The Prior and Convent delivered to Geoffrey their mill at 
Mytton on the Stour with a portion of Oldington and a portion 
of Comberton at a rent of one mark of silver. • But Geoffrey 
shall make the whole mill fit for work, and keep it in repair at 




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s 



5 



w5 







13-€AjJ^Syy dULaJJu . JaAoj)\ an. 1104 



ijyof.ofow 



oujC. 



m 



THE VILLENAGE. 17 

his own expense, being assisted by the men of the convent when 
it is necessary, as has been the custom." 

Another deed without date shows that the convent had 
acquired an interest in a different part of the parish. " Know all, 
that we Brother John, Prior of Maiden Bradley, &c., have given 
to Thomas Biset all the land which was formerly William 
Becke's at La Horestan ; an 1 3 acres of land situated a.t Hen - 
leghe which were formerly John de la More's, &c., for an annual 
rent of 35. 5^." 

In 22 Henry III. (1238) John Biset obtained a charter of free 
warren in all his demesne lands at Kidderminster, and a fair 
yearly for two days, viz., on the eve and day of St. Bartholomew. 
Other fairs have been granted for Ascension-day (now changed) 
and Corpus Christi. Fairs and markets were valuable acquisi- 
tions in these times ; and the privilege was eagerly sought for by 
the lords of manors on account of the tolls which they were able 
to exact from traders. Thus Kidderminster was steadily rising 
in importance, and was beginning to acquire a considerable 
share of self-government. Between 1237 and 1241 the town 
succeeded in maintaining its independence from all authority of 
the Sheriff of the county except " attachment of the Crown, 
when occasion shall arise." The charter of Walter de Beau- 
champ, Earl of Warwick, written on vellum, is still preserved 
in the archives of the Corporation. It is to this effect : — 

" Know present and future men, that I Walter de Beauchamp, have 
enquired by men worthy of credit, that no Sheriff hath entered into the 
manor of Kidderminster to hold the Sheriff's turn there, or to take any 
money in the name of the turn of his Shrievalty there, before the time of 
William de Cantilupe the elder who was Sheriff of Worcester for the Lord 
King [1202-— 1215] . And therefore I have released to John Biset and his 
heirs as his right, for me and my heirs, or any one who shall be our Sheriff 
for the time being, to enter into the manor of Kidderminster, to hold the 
Sheriff's turn there, or to take any money by name of the turn of his 
Shrievalty, as is aforesaid, there : nor will I Walter, nor my heirs, nor any 
Sheriff for the time being, enter in the manor aforesaid, to make any attach- 
ment there, or to take distress there, which belong to the Sheriff, except 
attachment of the Crown, when occasion shall arise. And for this release 
and quit-claim the aforesaid John has given to me 16 silver marks. And 
that the present writing for ever may obtain the strength of confirmation, 
I have strengthened the same with the impression of my seal. These being 
the witnesses Lord Walter Bishop of Worcester, Lord Richard Abbot of 
c 



1 8 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Evesham, Roger le Power, Peter de Wike, William de Corbett, Geoffrey de 
Warm', Alexander Dapitot, Thomas de Stoke, Robert de Parco, and many 
others." 

Leaving the development and organization of the " borough" 
for future consideration, we will now examine some records 
which, with the aid of Seebohm's valuable book on The 
English Village Community, enable us to form a notion of the 
system of husbandry then almost universal in England. From 
the annexed tracing of a map (belonging to Mr. T. F. Ivens) 
made in 1704, and showing a portion of Lord Foley's estate, 
we see that the land is cut up into a number of little narrow 
strips. The strips vary more or less in size and shape, but 
each has an area of rather more than half-an-acre. The ancient 
form of the acre was "40 rods in length and 4 in breadth " 
(33 Edw. L), and it was thus set out for convenience in 
ploughing — in the first instance by using an actual rod. " The 
furlong is the ' furrow-long,' i.e., the length of the drive of the 
plough before it is turned ; and this by long custom was fixed 
at 40 rods. The word ' rood ' naturally corresponds with as 
many furrows in the ploughing as are contained in the breadth 
of one rod. And four of these roods lying side by side made 
the acre strip in the open fields, and still make up the statute 
acre." (Seehohm.) 

Two or three furrows were left unploughed between each 
half-acre division, forming boundaries of turf called halks. At 
the ends of the strips was another larger piece of turf called a 
headland, where the ploughs could turn. " When a hill-side 
formed part of the open field the strips were made to run 
horizontally along it ; and in ploughing, the custom for ages 
was always to turn the sod of the furrow downhill, the plough 
consequently always returning one way idle. The result was 
that the strips became in time long level terraces one above the 
other, and the balks between them grew into steep rough 
banks." (Secbohm.) These banks are generally called lynches 
or linces, and some may be seen in this neighbourhood, notably 
at Hartlebury and Abberley, near the road from Stourport to 
the Hundred House. 

Lord Foley's estate in 1704 at Wribbenhall, Oldington, Hoar- 



THE VILLENAGE. 19 

stone, High Habberley, and the Lea was divided into these 
half-acre strips ; and this survival from remote ages is a 
valuable guide to the right understanding of our old records, 
since by the Enclosure Acts of 1774, &c., the ancient system of 
open fields was swept away for ever. 

In 10S6 there were apparently (except perhaps the Rad- 
knights) no free men in Kidderminster. The villeins, who were 
the highest class of serfs, made up 30 per cent, of the popula- 
tion, the bordars or cottars were 54 per cent., and the slaves 11 
per cent. All of them were bound to join in cultivating the 
lord's demesne or home-farm of nearly 1000 acres, forming 
" the borough." But each villein had a virgate (or yard-land) 
of 30 acres, or a bovate of 15 acres, in his own occupation, on 
which he could work when not on dut}^ for the lord. These 
virgates or bovates were not all in one piece, but scattered 
through the outlying hamlets or " foreign " in half-acre strips. 
Except the mill at Mytton, and a house or two at each of the 
sixteen berewicks or enclosures for farm produce, the people 
probably lived in the town, partly for mutual protection and 
partly to be on the spot for the lord's work. Ploughing was 
then done by teams of four or eight oxen ; but as no one villein 
was rich enough to possess a team of his own, each tenant of a 
bovate contributed one ox to the team, and had his proper pro- 
portion of the land when ploughed. The acre was the quantity 
that a plough-team could get through in the morning's work. 
At first the ownership of the strips varied from year to year, but 
in time became fixed to each individual. When a slave or a 
cottar was raised to a villein, his lord usually provided him 
with his ox, a cow, six sheep, and seven acres sown on his 
virgate, so that the " heriot " at his death would be originally 
a return to the lord of his own " outfit." The Smith and the 
Carpenter, who appear in the list of villeins, had their strips 
ploughed free in return for keeping the ploughs and harrows in 
working order. The cottars held a similar holding — usually a 
house and a few acres of land ; and as they had no plough or 
oxen, they were more like our day-labourers. The services 
required from all the tenants were (i) iveehly work at ploughing, 
reaping, carrying, usually for two or three days a week, and 
most at harvest-time ; (2) precaria, special or extra services 



20 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

when the lord required them ; and (3) payments in kind or 
money at specified times, chuych shot, &c. (Seebohn.) The best 
husbandman each year was chosen by the villeins as Prcspositus, 
Provost, or Bailiff. He was to regulate the work due to the 
lord ; and his office has been handed down, amid all the silent 
social changes, through perhaps a thousand years to our present 
Mayor. The title of Bailiff as Chief Magistrate was retained 
down to A.D. 1835. 

The arable land was generally divided into three fields repre- 
senting the rotation of crops, viz. — (i) Tilth-grain ; (2) Etch- 
grain (oats or beans sown in spring) ; and (3) Fallow. In Lord 
Foley's map of Wribbenhall we find the " Over Field," 
" Middle Field," and " Lower Field." Thus each villein would 
have yearly 10 half-acre strips of wheat or rye, 10 of oats or 
beans, and 10 would lie fallow. When all the corn was housed, 
the tenants could let their cattle feed at random over the open 
field, where there were no hedges, only balks or narrow strips 
of turf. On Lord Foley's map there are "Running Doles;" 
these were similar strips of meadow land, which could be grazed 
in common after Lammas Day (August i). 

The earliest list of any Kidderminster tenants with their 
holdings is contained in Ralph de Auxeville's grant (p. 15), 
where each tenant holds half a virgate. In his second grant 
(p. 15) Thomas and Ivo each hold a virgate, and the rest is in 
half-virgates. The date of the latter deed is 1227. 

In the Maiden Bradley chartulary is a list of the tenants of 
Oldington some years later. This is interestmg as containing 
the first direct mention of a//w man holding land in the manor. 

Freemen. 
Nicholas holds one virgate of land by charter, and pays iiis. 

RusTici OR Villeins. 

Richard Balle, Bailift, holds a messuage and half a virgate and pays 
iis. viii(^. 

Other tenants holding a messuage and half a virgate, and 
paying 25. 8^., are Robert Balle, Osbert 'Wade, William 
Gamulde, Roger le Lay, Thomas Wade, Algar Wade, Thomas 



THE VILLENAGE. 21 

Hupehulle, Waller Snel, Thomas Black or Blake (Niger), and 
Osbert Balle. Thomas Wade also holds a fisher}^ at a rental of 
6d., Roger le Lay a fishery at 3^., and Osbert and Robert Balle 
a fishery at 3^. 

The cottars were Philip Muller and Petronilla daughter of 
Edwin, each having a house with three acres of land and a 
small piece of meadow at 25. rental ; Margery daughter of 
Godiva a house at 8i. ; and Nicholas Hidde a house with six 
acres of land at is. 6d. 

The whole land in Oldington contained in this list amounts 
to 6-|- virgates with 12 acres and some meadow. This agrees 
almost exactly w'th the 7 virgates given to Maiden Bradley by 
Ralph de Auxeville. Taking the virgate at 30 acres, there 
would be 210 acres in cultivation at this time, divided amongst 
16 tenants, at a total rental of £1 igs. per annum, or rather 
more than 2d, an acre. In 1704 Lord Foley was owner of 
Oldington. The acres under cultivation had increased in the 
500 years to 328, with only nine tenants ; but there were still 
264 acres in Oldington Common, much of which is now 
" Oldington Wood," skirting part of the road between Kidder- 
minster and Stourport. 

The chartulary at the same time gives the names of two 
tenants at Mytton (Mutona) : — 

William de Stour holds one Corn-Mill (Blarecum) and one Fulling-Mill 
(Folcyecum), and pays xiiis. iv^. 

John le Brile holds one messuage and half a virgate of land and pays iiis. 

In the Public Record Office (Excheqtiev Ministers^ Accounts 
\?i''), there is fortunate^ preserved a more complete list of the 
villeins of Kidderminster made some 20 or 30 years after the 
preceding. It is undated, but from the handwriting appears 
to be of the time of Edward I., and is endorsed 

CUSTUMAR' ET REDDITA DE KEDEMINYSTER. 

Villain Prime Excanhie. 
Haberlegh (Habberley) 5. d. 

Henry le Proude holds i virgate . . . . per annum . . 58 

Editha de la Hulle holds one house and one 

noke .. .. .. .. .. .. ,. .. 22(/. 

Hugh Bedellus holds i messuage and half a 
virgate ,, •• 3 io^(/. 



22 



A tllSTORY GF KIDDERMINSTER. 



POKELESTON (Puxton) 

Henry Black (Niger) holds i messuage and 

half a virgate. . 
Thomas Godrih holds i messuage and half 

a virgate 
Roger de la Grave holds i messuage and 

half a virgate. . 
William Pokel holds land 

SoTTON (Sutton) 

William Thorkil holds i messuage and half a 

virgate 
Henry Chancellor (Cancellarius) holds i 

messuage and half a virgate 
Walter Tekle holds i messuage and half a 

virgate . . 
Robert Cortys holds i messuage and half a 

virgate.. 
Margery de Ris, daughter of Robert de Ris, 

holds I messuage and half a virgate 
holds land of Richard de Smal- 

broc, I messuage and half a virgate 

Agberue (Agborow) 

Adam son of Petronilla holds i messuage 

and half a virgate . . 
Henry de Holie holds i messuage and half 

a virgate 

Lea 

Henry de la Lee holds his mansion . . 
Muriele holds a certain meadow at 

Schirenewere. . 
Juliana relict of Robert le Bercher holds i 

messuage and half a virgate 

Ketherton 

Robert Hawis holds i messuage and half a 

virgate.. 
William le , land and messuage of 

Suecus 
Richard de Grange, i messuage and half a 

virgate.. 
William Agemon, i house and curtilage 
Richard Smith (Fahcr) holds one butt, and 

suit of court, and pays four horseshoes 

with the nails. 



per annum 



5. d. 
3 4 

5 3 

3 loi 

2 



•• 3 


I0± 


•• 3 


lOj 


•• 3 


loi 


•- 3 


loi 


•• 3 


loi 


•• 3 


lO-i 



3 loj 

4 o 

1 6 

izd 
3 loj 

3 lo^ 

4 o 

3 loj 

Srf. 



THE VILLENAGE. 



n 



Wrobbenhale (Wribbenhall) 5. d. 

Henry da Eldenhale, i house and i croft . . per annum . . \oi. 
John de la More, i messuage and half a 

virgate ,, • • 4 3l 

William Colemon, i messuage and i noke.. ,, • • 5 9j 

Frainis (Franche) 

Henry Drin, i messuage and i virgate . . ,, . . 6 \o\ 

Maude de la Grave, i messuage and half a 

virgate ,, . . 4 4J 

Walter Red, i messuage and i virgate . . ,, . . 6 loj 

Trempel (Trimpley) 

Thomas Young (Juvcnis), i messuage and 

half a virgate. . .. .. .. .. ,, • ■ 3 7i 

Richard Hervi, i messuage and half a 

virgate ,, . . 4 3J 

Agnes Hereward, i messuage and 3 nokes. . ,, . . 6 o| 
Robert de la Pucce, i messuage and half a 

virgate.. .. .. .. .. .. ,, ..70 

Editha Godrih, mansion .. .. .. ,, .. 2.od. 

Thomas Carpenter, mansion and i croft . . „ . . 2od. 

holds land of Elwald .. .. ,, ..30 

John Wicling, I croft .. .. .. .. ,, .. ^d. 

Comberton 

Richard Scherewind, i messuage and half a 

virgate.. .. .. .. .. .. ,, 

John le Kay, i messuage i J virgates . . „ 

Robert Smith (FaberJ, i house 

, I messuage and half a virgate ,, 

Simon de Arderne, i messuage and half a 

virgate.. .. .. .. .. •• ,, 

Robert de Winkleover, i messuage and half 

a virgate . . . . . . . . . • ■. 

Mutton (Mytton) 

William de Sture holds one mill and pays. . ,, 

Richard de le Bole, i messuage and half a 

virgate, and pays . . . . . . . . ,> 

Thomas Balle, 3 acres at Simareshert . . , 

Oldinton 

Robert Young, i messuage and half a 
viig.Uc 



•• 7 


3 


• • 5 


9 


• • 


3 


•• 5 


9 


•• 5 


9 


•• 5 


9 


I mark 


and 


homage and suit 


• • 3 





and suit. 


• • 


3d. 



■ ■ 30 

homage and suit. 



24 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 





s. d. 


per annum 


. 3 lo 




• 4 I 




. 3 lo 




. 3 lo 


n ' 


. 3 lo 


») 


.. 3 lo 


)> 


.. 3 lo 



Wife of Richard Ball, i messuage and half 

a virgate 
Nichol-is le Kay (? Lay), i messuage and half 

a virgate with a weir 
John Hill (de Monte), i messuage and half a 

virgate.. 
Thomas le Challoner, i messuage and half a 

virgate . . 
Galfrid son of Thomas, i messuage and 

half a virgate. . 
William Snel, i messuage and half a 

virgate . . 
Algar Wade, i messuage and half a virgate . 
Thomas Wade, i messuage and half a 

virgate.. .. •• •• •• •• " ••4 4 

Juliana Wade, i messuage and half a 

virgate.. .. •• •• •• •• •■ • • 3 lo 

Osbert Ball, i messuage and half a virgate . „ . . 3 ii J 

Henry Ball, i messuage and half a virgate . „ . . 3 ii^ 

Editha Goumill, i messuage and half a 

virgate.. .. •• •• •• •• » .. 3 10 

COTTARII 

Alicia Molloc, i mansion, 6 acres, with i 

rood of meadow . . . . • • • ■ .. ..20 

Henry son of Nicholas Ball, i mansion and 

" witebut," 6 acres with witebut .. .. ,, ..29 

Petronilla daughter of Edwin, i mansion, 6 

acres, i rood of meadow . . . . • . >. • • 22jfl. 

William le Smocare, i mansion . . . . „ • • lorf. 

Robert le Troyere, i house of Robert 

Young, rendering annually for having 

warranty . . • • • • • • • • " • • ^^■ 

By comparing this list with the previous one, it is seen that 
William de Stour is still occupying the mill at Mytton at the 
same rent. Algar Wade, Thomas Wade, and Osbert Ball are 
still at Oldington, but their rental is increased from 25. 8i. to 
3s. lod. The 6d. extra paid by Thomas Wade is no doubt in 
consideration of his fishery, though it is not specially men- 
tioned. Robert Ball is dead, Henry Ball now shares the 
fishery with Osbert, so each pays i^d. additional rent on that 
account. Nicholas le Kay (? Lay) has succeeded to the fishery 
of Roger le Lay. The "weir" for catching fish is full y 
described in Seebohm (p. 152). Walter Snel has been succeeded 



THE VILLENAGE. 



25 



by William ; and Richard Ball's widow now holds by courtesy 
the acres formerly cultivated by her husband. Of the cottars, 
only the aged Petronilla daughter of Edwin still holds her man- 
sion and bit of land, while her son Adam has become a villein 
and has his half-virgate at Agberow. Comparing the latter 
lists with that of Ralph de Auxeville's tenants, the growing use 
of surnames may be noticed. By a comparison with the Domes- 
day record we find that the slaves have disappeared, the cottars 
have decreased from 38 to 5, while the higher class of villeins 
has increased from 23 to 59, and, as already noticed, there is 
a freeman holding book-land. The rental has increased, but 
this is probably owing to the substitution of money payments 
for some of the more burdensome obligations due to the lords, 
and is a step towards complete freedom. 

From the following summary of the tenants and rentals of 
these hamlets, it is noteworthy that the property of the monas- 
tery in Oldington, Comberton, and Mytton has been so well 
developed that the rental is nearly equal to the total of the 1 1 
other hamlets. The manor of Hurcott at this time belonged to 
the Rector of Kidderminster, and does not appear in the list. 





Tenants. 




Rent. 




£ s. d. 


Habberley . . 


3 




II 4j 


Puxton 


4 




12 7j 


Sutton 


6 




I 3 i§ 


Agborow 


2 




7 10^ 


Lea . . 


3 




6 4I 


Netherton . . 


5 




12 4^ 


Wribbenhall 


3 




10 II 


Franche 


3 




18 of 


Trimpley 


8 




I 7 6| 


Comberton . . 


6 




I 10 6 


Mytton 


3 




16 7 


Oldington 


13 




2 10 


Cottarii . , 


5 




7 7i 



Total 



64 



;^II 14 II 



The lists of tenants given above belong to a period before the 
terrible Black Death (1349) wrought such ravages in England. 
More than one-third of the population died, and in many places 



26 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



the corn lay rotting on the ground for want ot reapers, while 
cattle and sheep roamed over the country for want of herdsmen. 
Three Archbishops of Canterbury died in one year, and a large 
proportion of Worcestershire parishes lost their incumbents. 
The demand for labour was much greater than the supply, 
the labourers were masters of the situation, and a death blow 
was given to the old system of villenage. The " Statute of 
Labourers " ordered them to work for the same wages that had 
been paid before the Plague, viz., id. per day, with extra 
allowance in harvest time ; but this ordinance could not be 
enforced, and many of the landowners were impoverished. We 
have no particulars of this sad time as it affected Kidder- 
minster ; but in 135 1 John le Bottiler handed back to Prior 
Thomas of Maiden Bradley all his life interest in " one toft 
which adjoins a tenement of the said Prior near the church of 
Kedermynstre, and 11 acres of arable land in the open field 
between the church and Hurcote." (Wanley MS., p. 171.) 

About the tmie of Richard II. the monks have left us another 
rent-roll, and it is of interest as showing that all the villeins 
and bordars had now developed into liberi or free-men ; and 
also that " new land " had been taken into cultivation : — 

" In the vill of Comertone are 4 vir gates of land of old feoffment, and one 
of new land which contains 48 acres with its appurtenances. 

" Free Men. 

" Richard Derewynde holds one messuage and half a virgate of land, and 
6 acres of new land by charter, to wit that land which Nicholas son of 
Edwin of Cumerton formerly held and pays thence per annum 7s. ^d." 

Twelve other free tenants are named, and " the sum total of 
the rents of Oldington and Cumerton are ^4 195. 10^." 

In " Kidemester Borough " the Prior and Convent make the 
following payments to the lords of Kidderminster : — 

" For Oldington and Comberton 5s. [This payment was reserved by 
Henry Biset when he made the grant to Ralph de Auxeville. (See 
page 15)] 

" For new land near Burlase, 5s. 

" For 2 Woodcrofts and a Grove 25. 

" For 2 Tenements, and for Liberty of the Borough ; 2 capons or 4^. ; and 
2 pairs of gloves, or 2d. 

" To Henry de Caldwell for new land near Buries, a half-penny. 



THE VILLENAGE. 27 

" To Master Henry de Kent for a Tenement, formerly Reginald Tugge's, 
near the Mill, 4(f. 

" To Thomas Chaumpeneis for the tenement of John de Horspole 3s. id. 

" To Thomas Balle of Mytton for 3 acres of land near Merdene id." 

From their tenants in the borough the Prior received as 
follows : — 

" The Lady Lucy [probably the wife of Sir John Attwood, who founded 
Trimpley Chantry] holds a certain tenement which was Robert de 
Alvedeleghe's, 6s. 

" The said Lucy pays for a certain land called Cranesmore id. 

" The said Lucy pays for an oven situated between the house of Henry 
Pitt and a new house built by Robert de Alwedeleghe id. 

" The same pays at the Feast of S. Michael a half penny for a curtilage 

which is near La , and a half penny which Aldyne son of Osanne 

used to pay. 

" Roger Lowe holds a burgage and pays 2s. 

" William Wheelwright holds a house with a little place and pays 2s. 

" Simon de Kent holds a burgage, and pays zs., and for the enlargement 
of his house on the other side izd." 

The " mansion " of the villein in these times was a thatched 
one-roomed building of wood, with its crevices plastered up 
with clay. Glass was an unknown luxury, and there were no 
windows. Chimneys were not used, and the fire was in the 
middle of the room against a hob of clay, and the smoke 
escaped through the door, or where it could. The floors were 
of bare earth, strewn with rushes and dried herbs, which 
became a receptacle for bones and filth. " A few chests were 
ranged round the walls, the bacon-rack was fastened to the 
timbers overhead, and the walls of the homestead were gar- 
nished with agricultural implements. Sometimes there was an 
upper storey of poles reached by a ladder. Close by the door 
stood the mixen, a collection of every abomination — streams 
from which in rainy weather polluted the stream." (Rogers' 
Six Centuries of Work and Wages.) The oxen generally lived 
under the same roof as their owner. Such were the " good old 
times " of 600 years ago. 






28 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



CHAPTER III 



Z\K Baronaijc. 



^*i(*»« 




HE family of Biset came over with the Conqueror, 
and was settled in Nottinghamshire. Manser 
Biset, son of William Biset, was a faithful 
adherent of Henry Fitz-Empress before his 
accession to the throne. Under the title of 
Dapifer he was witness to a deed of gift made 
by Henry to Randle Earl of Chester in 1152 (Sir Peter Ley- 
cester's Cheshire) ; in ig Stephen he was witness to the accord 
made between Henry and Stephen touching Henry's succession 
to the Crown ; and in reward for his services he received the 
royal manor of Kidderminster, with estates in Hampshire and 
Gloucestershire soon after Henry's II. 's accession (page 13). 
Manser married Alice heiress of Bradley in Wiltshire, and his 
wife's home became his principal residence. There he founded 
a convent for Leprous Women, to which he gave the Rectory 
of Kidderminster, He was succeeded in the lordship of Kid- 
derminster by his son Henry; and in ist John another Henry, 
nephew of the foregoing, became his heir (Dug. Bar., i., 632, a) 
and gave to the King 500 marks for livery of the lordships of 
Kidderminster and Sandhurst. (Ibid. Oblata i John, m. 23.) 

After him it appears that William Byset died seised of the 
barony of Byset (Madox, Baron. Aug., 52) ; and to him suc- 
ceeded John Biset (Dug. Baron., [., 632, a), who in 4 Henry III. 
was charged with ;^ioo for his relief, for the lands and tene- 
ments which William Byset, his brother, whose heir he^-as, 
held at the day of his death. John Biset married Alice 
daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Basset of Headendon, 
Oxfordshire, and had three daughters, Margaret, Ela, and 



THE BARONAGE. 29 



Isabel. He obtained charters for free warren and a fair in 
Kidderminster (1238). In 1241 he was made Chief Forester of 
England, and attended the Grand Tournament held at 
Norihampton at Easter in that year, occasioned by Peter of 
Savoy, Earl of Richmond, against Earl Roger Bigod. (Matt. 
Paris, 550, n. 30.) 

Shortly afterwards he died, and in a plea between the Abbot of 
Roucester and Albreda de Basingbourne in 27 Hy. III. (1243), 
Albreda called to warrant Margery, Ela, and Isabella, daughters 
and heirs of John Biset. Margery was of full age, Ela and 
Isabella under age, and in the custody of John de Plessetis. 
(Thoroton's Nottinghamshire. PI. de Ban. cor. Rob. de Laxington et 
Soc. Pasch. 27 Hy. HI., rot. 1 and 2.) 

Margaret Biset (perhaps a sister of John) gave to the Leprous 
Women of Bradley 6s. 8d. yearly rent in Kidderminster. (Mon. 
Ang. ii., 409.) Matthew of Paris (635, 30) tells us that in 1238, 
when an assassin came in at midnight through the window at 
Woodstock with a drawn dagger in his hand to kill the King, 
one of the Queen's maidens, Margaret Biset by name, saved 
his life " For she was holy and devoted to God, and by chance 
was awake, singing her Psalter by candle light, and at her 
terrible cries the royal servants rushed in." She died in 1242 — ■ 
" of an illustrious family, more illustrious by her character." 
(lb., 786, 46.) 

After the death of John Biset his property was divided in 
equal shares between his daughters ; and consequently the 
manor of Kidderminster was broken up into three portions. John 
de Rivers, lord of Burgate in Hampshire, married the eldest 
daughter Margery. He gave in 1267 to Brother John, Prior of 
Maiden Bradley, all the lands which Hugh in the Grove 
formerly held, and the said Hugh with his whole retinue, &c. 
Witnesses — Walter Scamnel Archdeacon of Berkshire, Sir 
Hugh de Plessetis, John de Wotton, Hugh Attwood, Henry de 
Caldwell, William de Eymore. 

Sir John de Rivers, kt., lord of Ongar, Essex, granted a rent 
of 13s. 4^/. to John Stacy, clerk, in 1329. (Morant's Essex i., 
128, b.) 



30 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Either by gift or purchase the one-third share of Kidder- 
minster faUing to Rivers was soon acquired by Maiden Bradle}', 
The monks had before this received a grant from Sir John of 
the advowson of tlie church. 

Isabel, the second daughter, married Hugh de Plessetis. He 
was son of John de Plessetis, who in 1242, in consideration of 
200 marks, obtained a grant of wardship and marriage of the 
heirs of John Biset, and was in such favour with the King (Dug. 
Bar., 772, a. b.) that he forced Margery, sister and sole heir of 
Thomas Earl of Warwick, to marry him. Hugh was son and 
heir by a former wife Christian, daughter and heir of Hugh de 
Sandford, lord of Stoke Norton, Oxon, and at the death of his 
father (1263) was 26 years old. He died 1291, leaving issue 
Hugh his son and heir, 25 years of age. (Dugdale.) 

Another one-third part came to John de Wotton and Ela, 
which John died seised of Kidderminster of inheritance of Ela 
Biset in 28 Edw. I. (luqiiis. 28 Edw. I. in Nash, vol. ii., app. 
Ixxvi.) John de Wotton and Ela had a son who took his 
mother's name, and as John Byset was charged for his relief 

31 Edw. I. (Hil. Fin., &c., p. 52, c. i, 1. i.) 

In 33 Edw. I. an exchange of land was made between 
Thomas, Prior of the Convent of Brommore, and Sir John 
Byset, kt., to which Sir John de Riveres, kt., was a witness. 
(Madox : Fovnml. Angl., n. cclxxiv.) 

There was an office held 35 Edw. I. in vvhich John Biset held 
within the manor of Kidderminster the moiety of one messuage 
with a close, the moiety of one water-mill, 10 acres of meadow, 
160 acres of land, and two woods. {Nash ii., 236, b.) By the 
title of " Sir John Byset, kt., lord of Kidderminster, together 
with the community of the whole borough," a chaplain was 
presented to the chantry of the chapel of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary of Kyderministre in 1305. (Ry. Geynes in Nash ii., 57.) 
Sir John had a daughter Margaret, who in 1324 was a minor in 
the King's custody. (Hutchins' Dorset, ii., 458, b.) She was 

married to Romsey, and died in 1374, leaving a son. Sir 

Walter Romsey, kt., who inherited from his mother a certain 
manor in Kidderminster which heretofore was but a third part 



THE BARONAGE. 31 

of the said manor of Kidderminster whole. [Walterus de 
Romeseye chivaler, films MaygaretcB filicd cujiisdam Joh^nnis Biset,filii 
et heredis Johannis de WoUon et Eke Bysct. (Hil. Fin. 17 Rd. II., 
rot. 5 in Madox : Baron. Angl. ^^^ ^- 37-)] ^'^^ ^^id Walter 
did homage and fealty to the King Feb. 22, 47 Edw. III., the 
estate being held in capite. (Hil. Fin., p. 51.) He paid part of 
his relief for it in 17 Rd. II., another part in 3 Hy. IV., and 
died in 1404. (?Iutchins' Dorset ii., 458a.) 

In 13S5 and 1386 (see "Final Concords") Sir John Beaii- 
champ of Holt, a favourite of King Richard II., becan: ) 
possessed of so much of Sir Walter Romsey's estate in Kidder- 
minster that when on 10 Oct., 1387, he was by patent (being 
the first instance of the kind) summoned to Parliament, he took 
the title of Lord de Beanchamp, Baron of Kidderminster. This 
Sir John Beauchamp, son of Richard Beauchamp of Holt, suc- 
ceeded his father in 1327, being then eight years old. He 
served in the French wars, was an Esquire of the King's 
Chamber, received Knighthood in Scotland, was Justice of 
North Wales, and subsequently (1387) Steward of the King's 
Household. He married Joane daughter and heir of Robert le 
Fitzwith. (Dugdale's Baronage, and " New Peerage " in 
Genealogist.) In the Corporation archives is an inspeximus on 
vellum by Henry VIII., 1530, of a charter of Richard II., 
1386, previously inspected by Henry VI., 1427 : — 

" Richard by the Grace of God, &c. 

" Know ye that we have granted and by this our charter have confirmed 
to our beloved and faithful Knight John Beauchamp of Holt and Joan his 
wife and his heirs free chace as well in vert and venison as in all manner of 
other things which appertain to such a free chace wiihin the manor demesne 
and fee of Kedermestre, and infangthief and outfangthief and the chattels of 
felons and fugitives, &c., and let all his tenants and residents therein be quit 
of toll, panage, and murage, throughout the whole of our realm, &c. 

These being witnesses R. Bp. of London, J. Bp. of Durham our Treasurer, 
W. Bp. of Winchester, W. Bp. of Coventry and Lichfield, keeper of our 
privy seal, Thomas Bp. of Chichester, J. Bp. of Hereford, Edmund Duke of 
York and Thomas Duke of Gloucester our very dear uncles, Robert de Veer, 
Marquess of Dublin, Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, Edward de 
Courtenay Earl of Devon, Michael de la Pole Earl of Suffolk, our Chan- 
cellor, John de Montacute, Steward of our Household, and others. Given 
at Osney 7 August in the loth year of our reign, A.D. 1386." 



32 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



A few months after his elevation to the Peerage the Baron of 
Kidderminster was attainted by the " Wonderful " Parliament, 
and beheaded on Tower Hill. He was buried in Worcester 
cathedral, 1388, and left a son, John de Beauchamp, ten years 
of age, who, by the reversal of the proceedings of 11 Rd. H. in 
1398, became second Baron of Kidderminster. In 1399 he 
accompanied the unfortunate King into Ireland ; and when in 
1400, under Henry IV., the proceedings of 11 Rd. II. were 
re-affirmed, his honours again became forfeited. He was, how- 
ever, Escheator of Worcestershire 1406. He died in 1420, 
leaving only a daughter Margaret, who married firstly John 
Pauncefort, and secondly John Wysham. Thus the Barony 
became extinct, after having been for 20 years under attainder. 
(The New Peerage, J 



PEDIGREE 

William Biset 
of Nottinghamshire 



OF BISET. 

Hawisia 



William = Susanna Manser = Alice, of Henry 

Carpentarius Bradley 



Henry = Albrega 



Henry = Isoud 
d. 1200 



Ausold 



Margaret 



Henry = 



William 
d. 1220 



John = Alice Baset 
d. 1241 



Margaret = Richard Isabel = Hugh de Plessetis 
de Rivers d. 1291 

Sir John de Rivers Hugh de Plessetis 



ELA = John de 
Wotton 
d. 1300 



Sir John Biset = . . . 
d. before 1324 

MARGARET = Romsey 
d. 1374 

Sir Walter de Romsey 
d. 1404. 

The lovds of Kidderminster in small capitals. 



^Xii--. 



IXiiJu... 



THE BARONAGE. 33 

For some reason, of which I have not yet met with any 
explanation, one-third of Kidderminster had in the time of 
Edward I. come into the possession of the Burnells. It could 
not be the Rivers portion, for this had fallen into the hands of 
Maiden Bradley. It could not be the inheritance of John de 
Wotton and Ela, for this was possessed by their descendant 
Sir Walter Romsey in the time of Richard II. It would seem 
then that Hugh de Plessetis, who succeeded to his portion in 
1 29 1, and of whom we hear nothing afterwards, alienated it 
almost immediately, for in 1292 Robert Burnell, Bishop of Bath 
and Wells, died seised of part of Kidderminster manor. (Inq. 
p. Mort., 21 Edw. I., n. 50, cal. p. 115.) The Bishop was a 
trusted adviser of the " English Justinian," Edward I., and 
resided at Acton Burnell in Shropshire, where the famous 
Parliament was held. He was not of noble birth, and his chief 
ambition was to found a great baronial family : he " added field 
to field," and at his death was in possession of estates in ig 
counties, and the holder, in whole or part, of 82 manors. He 
died at Berwick, and was conveyed to Wells cathedral for 
burial. Philip Burnell, the Bishop's nephew, was his heir, and 
did homage to the King for all the lands and tenements which 
his uncle had held in capite. He rapidly wasted his uncle's 
hastily gotten patrimony, and was one of the first to suffer by 
the facilities for recovering traders' debts which the statute of 
Acton Burnell had afforded. (National Biography.) His wife 
was Maud daughter of Richard Earl of Arundel, and he had a 
son. Sir Edward Burnell, who succeeded to the estates in 1293. 
(Inq. p. Mort. 22 Edw. I., n. 45, cal. p. 120.) During his 
minority he was in the wardship of Maculinus de Harle. He 
served in Edward's Scottish campaigns (131 1 — I3i4)» ^"^i is 
said to have always appeared in great splendour, attended by 
a chariot decked with banners of his arms. He was summoned 
to Parliament as Lord Burnell from the 5th to the 8th year of 
Edward II. 

In 1 313 King Edward II. gave licence to Edward Burneley 
to grant 160 acres of wood, with the appurtenances, in the 
manor of Kidderminster, to the Prior and Chapter of Wor- 
cester, and confirmed the donation. (Heming ii., 547, and Nash, 
Ixxv. a.) The said Chapter had power from the King to charge 

E 



34 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



their manor of Quinzehides (?) with the payment of ^lo yearly 
rent to Edward Burnell and his heirs ; and the King's charter 
for loo acres of land, 3 acres of meadow, 10 acres of pasture, and 
60 acres of wood in Kyderminster ; and also another for one 
carucate of land, 20 acres of meadow, 10 acres of pasture, one 
weir (gurgitemj, and 3s. rent in the manor of Kidderminster. 
[This land is still in the possession of the Dean and Chapter of 
Worcester.] 

Lord Burnell married Olivia da'ighter of Hugh le Despencer, 
and died 1315 without issue, leaving Maud, his sister and heir, 
then 24 years of age. She was wife of John de Handlo, of 
Tishmersh, Northants, who died in 1346 seised of the manor of 
Kidderminster. Their son Nicholas Handlo assumed his 
mother's name of Burnell, and having served in the wars with 
France, was summoned to Parliament as a Baron (Lord 
Burnell) in 1350. He died in 1383, and was succeeded by his 
son, Hugh Lord Burnell, aged 36. He was Governor of Bridg- 
north Castle 1386, and was one of the Lords who received the 
abdication of Richard H. in the Tower of London. In 1406 
he was made a Knight of the Garter. He married (i) Philippa 
daughter of Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of SufFold, (2) Joyce 
Baroness Botetourt, who died in 1406, and (3) Joan Dowager 
Baroness Fitzwalter. In his time the Prior and Convent of 
Worcester had the King's charter for what they held in 
Trimpley. (Nash, Ixxviii. b.) The figure of his second wife 
was formerly in a window of Kidderminster church, having on 
her mantle or, a saltire engrailed, sable ; and also a shield of those 
arms supported by two angels, and these words written over 
them : " Yes ben Bottowrt Armes." 

In 141 7, his only son Edward being dead, he made an 
arrangement for the marriage of his grandchild Margery with 
Edmund Hungerford, son of Sir Walter Hungerford, kt. He 
then prepared a beautiful alabaster tomb for Joyce and himself 
in the choir of Hales Abbey, Salop ; assigned portions of his 
large estates to his three grand-daughters, Joyce, Katharine, 
and Margaret, and gave the rest, which included Kidder- 
minster, to Joane de Beauchamp, Lady Bergavenny. (Dug. 
Bar., ii., 62.) He died 27 Nov., 1420, and the Barony of 
Burnell fell into abeyance. 



THE BARONAGE. 



35 



PEDIGREE OF BURNELL. 

Burnell 



Robert Burnell, 
Bishop of Bath and Wells 



Philip 

d. 1293 



Maud Fitzalan, d. of 
Richard Earl of 
Arundel 



Sir Edward = Olivia d. of 

died 1315 Hugh la 

Despencer 



(i) John Lovel: 



: Maud = (2) John Handlow 
d. 1346 

Nicholas Burnell = 



U SSs'F'S.fatrl ==^- H-„ B„nHB.. = (., Joyce Bo..=,o.,n 

^~" ' d. 1420. 

The lords of Kidderminster in small capitals, 
■a 



Joan Baroness Bergavenny was daughter of Richard Fitz- 
Alan Earl of Arundel, who was beheaded by Richard II. Her 
brother, Thomas Earl of Arundel, was a zealous partisan of 
Henry IV., and as Governor of the Tower of London had the 
custody of the captive King. Lord Burnell, as we have seen, 
belonged to the same party, and there was also a distant 
relationship between them, his great-grandmother being a 
daughter of another Richard Earl of Arundel. But Kidder- 
minster-Burnell was not the first possession of the Bergavenny's 
in this manor. In 1403 Joan's husband. Sir William de Beau- 
champ, Lord Bergavenny, 4th son of Thomas Earl of Warwick, 
presented to the Chantry of S. Mary in Kidderminster. He 
had probably received part of the estates of his namesake, John 
de Beauchamp 2nd Baron of Kidderminster, after his attainder 
in 1400. He died 8 May, 141 1, and was buried at the Black 
Friars, Hereford. His widow was then 36 years of age, and 
held the Castle of Abergavenny and his other estates in dower ; 
and presented to the Chantry of Kidderminster in 1420, 1422, 
1424, and 1435. In 1428 (by record in Scaccar, Nash Ixix.) she 
held that part of a knight's fee in Kidderminster which Nicholas 
Burnell before held, and died 14 Nov., 1435. 



36 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Their son Richard Beaiichamp was 14 years old when his 
father died in 141 1, and in 1420 vv-as created Earl of Worcester. 
He married Isabel Le Dcspencer, daughter of Thomas Earl of 
Gloucester, was mortally wounded at Meaux, in France, and 
was buried at Tewkesbury 1422. 

His only child was the Lady Elizabeth Beauchamp, born at 
Hanley Castle Dec. 16, 1415. She carried the estates and title 
of Lord Bergavenny to her husband. Sir Edward Nevill, 6th 
son of Ralph ist Earl of Westmoreland, and died 18 June, 
1447, aged 32. Her husband survived her, and died 18 Oct., 
1476, seised by courtesy of the manors of Kidderminster-Biset 
and Kidderminster-Burnell. 

Their son, George Nevill 4th Lord Bergavenny, was the next 
heir, and constituted William Lord Hastings steward of Kidder- 
minster. About 1485 the Prior of Maiden Bradley, owner of 
one-third of the manor, complained to Lord Bergavenny of the 
high-handed conduct of his officers in Kidderminster, and 
received a very fair and straightforward answer. (Wanley 

MSS.) 

" Peticio Domni Prioris ad Dominitm de Bergaveny, 

" To my Good and Gracius Lord George Nevil Lord of Bergevenee, 
Shewith unto your Good Lordeship William Priour of the Church of oure 
Lady of Mayden-Bradley in the Countie of Wiltshyre, That wheras one John 
Byset was seysed of a maner of Kedermynstre with a Lete and a Wareyn in 
a Wast Grounde, Parcel of the same Maner appendant, with the appurte- 
nances in the Countie of Worcetur, in his demeane as of Fee : and so seysede 
had Issue Three daughters ; That is to say Margery, EHzabeth and Ela. 
Which Margery took to Husbounde one John de Ripariis : Elizabeth 
toke to Husbounde one Hugh de Plessetes : and Ela toke to Husbonde one 
Rondolfe Nevile. And after the seid John Byset gave one parte of the seide 
Maner, divided in Three Partes by Metes and Boundes (except^he seid Lete, 
Warreyn, and the Wast Grounde, and the Grounde of the Comyne High- 
Weyes within the Precinfts of the seid Planer remayning unparted) to the 
seide John de Ripariis and Margery, To Have to theyme and to ther Heyres 
in Fee : And in like wyse gave another Parte of the said Maner to the said 
Hugh of Plessets and Elizabeth his Wyffe and their Heyres in Fee : And 
aftur, gave the residue of the same Maner to Rondolfe Nevil and Ela his 
Wyffe, and ther Heyres in Fee. By Force whereof the said John de R. and 
Margery his Wyffe, Hugh de P. and Elizabeth his W^yffe, and Rondolphe 
Nevile and Ela his Wyffe, were eche of them severally se}'sede of ther Partes 
of the said Maner in Form aboveseide : and of the said Lete, Wareine, 
Wast Ground and Highe Weyes in Comyne, Undividede. The Estate of 



THE BARONAGE. 37 

wiche Hugh de Plessets and Elizabeth, Rondolphe Nevile and Ela your 
Lordeship now hath : and the estate of wiche John de Ripariis and Margery 
his Wyffe the seide Priour now hath, and he and his Predecessours of long 
time have had. There your Bayliffes and Officers of your partes of the seid 
Maner have of late Distourbed, Lettede, and Denyede the seid Priour and 
his Officers to Take and Felle the Woodes growinge one his parte, as is 
aforeseid Dividede of the Maner ; and to have perceyve and take his parte 
of the Wayfes, Strayes, Fynes, and Amerciaments of Blode-shedinge, 
Affrayes, and other Profetts commynge in the Hie wayes and the Ground 
wich your seide Lordship and the Priour holden in comyne : And over that, 
your seid Bailiffs and Officers distreyneth the Tenants of the same Priour 
uppon ther Tenures ol the Parte of the seid Priour of the seid Maner, to 
come and appere in your Court of your Burgh of Kedermynstre to answere 
there to Playntes and other processes, when as Ye have no Jurisdidlion uppon 
theme, Contrary to Right and Good Conscience. For Reformacion whereof 
Please it your seid Lordship in consideration that the seid Priour and his 
Bretheren bene men of Religion, and Bounden to the Service of God, and 
unable to Sue for ther Ryght ageyne your seyd Lordship by the Law of the 
Londe ; that it wolde Please your same Lordeship to sett such Diredion in 
this Premissis, as Right and Good Conscience in that Behalfe shal Require- 
And thei shal dayly pray to God for the prosperous Contynuance of your 
same good Lordship." 

" Copia litere misse a Domno de Bergeveny ad Ballivum situm ibidem per 
Petitionem Domni Prioris. 

" Trusty and wel-bcloved I grete you welle ; letting you witte that it 
showed unto me by the humble peticion of William Prioure of the churche 
of our Lady of Mayden-Bradeley in the county of Wilteshire, which in the 
right of his seid Churche is seised of the third parte of the Maner of Keder- 
mynstre, with certayne Libertees and Franchesis unto his seid thirde parte 
belonging ; How that ye and oder myne Officers there have of late 
letted and denyed the said Prioure and his Officers to Take and Felle their 
woods growing in his parte of the seid Lordship ; and also to perceyve and 
take his part of the Wayfes, Strayes, Fines and Amerciaments that He there 
accordinge unto the old Customarie ought of right to have, by reason of his 
seid thirde part of the seid Maner ; and moreover how that ye distrayne the 
Tenaunts of the same Prioure upon there Tenures of the seid Thirde parte 
of the seid Maner, to come and appere in my Court of the Borow of Keder- 
mynstre, and to answere thereto Pleynts and other Processe, where ye ought 
not so to do, as I am enformed by my Councill Lernede. Wherefore I will 
and also charge you, as ye intende to do me Pleasure or to have my Good 
Lordship, that ye from hensforth suffre the seid Priour and his Officers to 
Felle ther Woodes there without any Lett or Disturbance ; and also to have 
and Perceyve his parte of such Wayfes, Strays, Amerciaments, and other 
casuelleties and Profights as he ought of Right to have ; and also that ye 
Distrayne not his Tenaunts to answere to any Pleynts otherwise than the 



38 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Law Requireth. For I wolde be loth to Renne in the censures of the 
Church, to mayntenne or Favour you or any other of mine Officers to Hurt, 
Prejudice, or Wronge Hym or any other Person ; otherwise than may stond 
with my Right, the Lawe, and Good Conscience. Yeven under my Signet 
and sign Manuelle, at London, the 13th day of May. 

" SUBSCRIPTIO LiTERE. 

" To Thomas Forest Bayly of my Maiier of Kydermynstre . ' 

In 1530 Henry VIII. inspected the charter of Richard II. 
(see p. 31), and ratified and confirmed anew all the privileges 
therein granted " to our beloved and faithful George Nevyle, 
knight, Lord Bergavenny, now tenant of the aforesaid manor 
demesne and fee of Kedermestre, and to his heirs. Witness 
me myself at Westminster the first day of February, in the 21st 
year of our reign." To the charter is appended an impression 
of the second great seal of Henry VIII, in dark green wax. 

Kidderminster continued in the descendants of this Lord 
Abergavenny until John the loth Baron parted with some of it 
by sale to Richard Foley, of Stourbridge, 12th Dec, 1660. 
(Hardwick.) In Lord Foley's Map of Wribbenhall, made in 
1706, part of the land is still marked as belonging to "me 
Lorde Aburgavenny," Space will not permit of a detailed 
account of this illustrious family, which, including the Burnell 
relationship, had a large interest in the town for more than 400 
years. From it there sprung six Earls of Westmoreland, two 
Earls of Salisbury and Warwick, an Earl of Kent, a Marquess 
Montacute, Barons Ferrers, Latimer, &c., one Queen, an Arch- 
bishop of York, five Duchesses, and many Countesses and 
Baronesses. (Camden.) It is now represented by Wilham 
Nevill 2ist Baron, 5th Earl, and ist Marquess of Aber- 
gavenny, of Eridge Castle, Kent. 

The Bisets, Burnells, Beauchamps, and Abergavennys, as we 
have seen, were in their turn lords of Kidderminster ; but they 
all had large estates in other counties, and it does not appear 
that any of them resided here except occasionally, and none 
were buried here. But as early as 1347 a knightly family was 
settled near the town, and had acquired the sub-manor of Cald- 
well, where a moated castle was built, of which some portions 
still remain. In the Book of Aids, 20 Edw. III. (Nash ii., 
37, a), Hugh de Cokesey is said to hold lands in Kidderminster 



THE BARONAGE. 39 

which John Biset formerly held ; and in 1357 he died seised of 
Kidderminster and Kaldewell. (Nash ii., Ixxvii., b.) By an 
inquisition it was found that he held at the day of his death 
within the manor of Kidderminster one messuage, half a yard- 
land (virgate), two acres of meadow, with appurtenances. 
(Nash ii., 47.) He was a younger son (Dugdale Warwicks,, i., 
359) of Sir Walter Cokesey, of Cokesey, kt., and married 
Dionysia, eldest daughter of William le Boteler, of Wemme, 
and co-heir to her brother Edmund. His figure, wMth that of 
his wife, was formerly in the fourth N. window of Kidder- 
minster church, with " Orate pro Animahus . . . Cokesey et 
Dionisie," subscribed to their arms — Argent, on a bend azure between 
two cotises dancette gu. three cinquefoils or ; impaling gu. a fess counter 
compony arg. and sa. betiveen six crosses formee or. He lived in the 
time of the Black Death, and presented to the Chantry of S. 
Mary in 1349 and 1350 ; and departing this life 1356, " lies 
buried under an arch in the N. wall of the church in a raised 
tomb whereon is his effigy with the legs crossed. The arms on 
his breast show him the same Cokesey as in the window : the 
brisure denotes him a younger brother." (Hayley.) The tomb 
thus described is no doubt that engraved in Nash (appendix, 
p. 50), having an arch with elegant Decorated tracery ; but, 
sad to say, during the last 90 years it has entirely disappeared. 
Our 19th century zeal for " restoration " has much to answer 
for ! Dionisia, surviving her husband, presented to the Chantry 
twice, and died m 1376 seized of Kidderminster and Caldwell. 
(Inquis. in Nash, Ixxviii., a.) 

Sir Walter de Cokesey, kt., presented Hugh de Caldwell to 
the church of Witley in 1287, which looks as if he had some 
connection with Caldwell at that time. (Hayley.) Sir Walter 
bequeathed his body to be buried with the Friars Minors in 
Worcester. (Dugd. i., 359.) " To the said Friars I leave ten 
marks of silver in place of all my arms borne with my body, 
and these arms shall remain entirely to my son Walter ; but 
the horse conveying my body and arms shall belong to the said 
Friais." (Dug. Warw., ii., 930.) 

After the death of Dionisia, the maror of Caldwell only 
appears among the local possessions of Cokesey. Maculinus 



40 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

de la Mare presented to the Chantry in 1391, 1395, and 1400 ; 
and in 1402 Alice wife of M. de la Mare died seised of Kidder- 
minster. 

Walter Cokesey, son and heir of Hugh and Dionisia, was 
under age at his father's death, but in 1365, making proof of 
his age, had livery of his inheritance (Dug. Way., i., 359), and 
being a knight in 1375, married Isabel, daughter and heir of 
Sir Urian St. Pierre, kt. According to Habingdon, his portrait 
with gilded spurs, and that of his wife, were in the same 
window with that of his father, with " Orate pro animabus 
Walteri Cokesey et Domine Isabelb," and his arms (without cotises) 
impaling arg., a bend sa. with a label of three gu. His arms were 
also in the great W. window of Worcester cathedral, and sub- 
scribed " Monseur Walter de Cokesey." He died 1405 seised 
of the manor of Caldwell, and leaving Walter his son and heir 
of full age. In the same window of Kidderminster church, 
with the foregoing, were likewise the portraits of this last- 
mentioned Walter and his wife, with " Orate pro animabus 
Walteri Cokesey et Matildis Uxoris ejus,'" and his arms (as before) 
impaling or, two bars gu. He died (Inq. Nash. Ixxix., b) 
8 Henry IV., and his widow Matildis was married to Sir John 
Phelip in or before 1409 ; for in that year John Fhelip, as lord 
of Witley — a lordship belonging to the Cokeseys — presented to 
that church. Consequently, in the same window, her figure 
appears again by the side of her second husband, and her arms 
impaled with his : quarterly, gu. and argent, in the first quarter an 
eagle displayed or. 

Sir John Phelip is said by Dugdale (Bar., ii., 212) to have 
been a valiant soldier under Henry V. In Rymer's Fcedera, ix., 
646, is a safe conduct granted Nov. 13 by John Duke of 
Bedford, Protector, for Alexander de Carnys, attended by eight 
men and eight horses, to come from Scotland into England to 
pay the ransom of James Douglas, lately a prisoner of Sir John 
Phelip, deceased. Sir John was present at the siege of Harfleur 
in 1415, and died ten days afterwards, probably of the dysen- 
tery which was so fatal to the English at that place. His seat 
was at Dennington, in Suffolk, but having married Walter 
Cokesey's widow, he probably lived at Caldwell, and his body 







i 




BRASS IN KIDDERMINSTER CHURCH, 
Representing Maud Harmanville and her Two Husbands, 
Sir John Phelip and Walter Cokesey. 




<y./7,^ 



MONUMENT OF SIR HUGH COKESEY AND WIFE 
IN KIDDERMINSTER CHURCH. 

[I'roin Nash's Woycfstci'shifc' 



Uhr^^'-^J^^' '^.^ 



^ 




MONUMENT OF THOMAS BLOUNT AND HIS 

WIFE MARGERY. 

[From Nash's Worcestershire.] 




(f0rlJi^'U^^,y./ 



MONUMENT OI-~ SIR ICDWAKD I'.l.orXT AND HIS 

TWO WIXICS. 



[From Nash's IVorcestershire.] 



I 



THE BARONAGE. 41 

was brought to Kidderminster church for burial by the side of 
his wife and her first husband. All three are buried in the 
chancel under a flat stone inlaid with portraits and inscrip- 
tion in brass. The engraving of this memorial is taken from 
Nash's Worcestershire, but it is not very correctly drawn, espe- 
cially as regards the lady's head-dress. The letters on the belt 
are I. P., the initials of John Phelip. The first shield is gone, 
but must have borne the arms of Phelip, which are impaled with 
Harmanville on the second shield. The third shield bears 
Harmanville, the fourth Phelip impaling Harmanville, the fifth 
Cokesey, and sixth Cokesey impaling Harmanville. The inscrip- 
tion beneath reads thus : — 

Miles honorificus, John Phelip subjacet intus : 
Henricus Quintus dilexerat hunc ut amicus : 

CONSEPELITUR EI SUA SPONSA, MATILDIS, AMATA, 
Waltero Cookesey, PRIUS ARMIGERO SOCIATA. 
AUDAX ET FORTIS APUD HaRFLEU JoHN BENE GESSIT 

Et Baro vi'm mortis patiens MIGRARE RECESSIT 

MC QUATER XV OCTOBRIS LUCE SECUNDA. 

Sit suus, alme Jesu, tibi spiritus hostia munda. 

By his first wife Juliana, daughter of Sir Thomas Erpingham, 
who died 1383, he had a son, Sir William Phehpp, Lord Bar- 
dolph, K.G., who was with him in the French campaign, and 
fought at Agincourt, being afterwards appointed Captain of 
Harfleur. Matildis was his second wife, and he had yet a third 
wife : for Henry V., " who loved him as a friend," granted the 
manor of Michelhampton, Gloucestershire, the lordship of 
Grovebury or Leyghton Busard, Bedfordshire, and the manors 
of Nedding and Ketchbarston, in Suffolk, to John Phelip, kt., 
and Alice his wife. She was daughter of Sir Thomas Chaucer, 
kt., son of Sir Geoffrey Chaucer, the famous poet. Lady Phelip 
married secondly Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, and 
thirdly William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk. This aged 
Duchess survived her first husband 60 years, and was buried at 
Ewelme, Oxfordshire. 

Sir John Phelip was a benefactor to Worcester cathedral in 
settmg up the fourth and most noble window of the E. cloister. 
(Thomas.) In it were his arms and those of Nevill T.ord Fur- 
nivall (whose daughter was married to his stepson), with the 

F 



42 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



inscription, " Orate pro anima Domini Johannis Phelipes Baronis de 
Donyngton, qui hanc fenestram Jieri fecit." Here, as well as on the 
brass, he is styled Baron, and a sort of coronet encircles his 
helmet in the effigy. 

Walter Cokesey, who lies buried under the brass, had a son. 
Sir Hugh Cokesey, who was the last heir male of this family. 
He had two wives — (i) Joan daughter and co-heir of Thomas 
Nevill, Lord Furnivall, by his second wife Ankaret, daughter 
of John Lord Strange, of Blackmere ; and (2) Alice .... who 
survived her husband, and died in 1459. A Walter Cokesey, 
perhaps a younger brother of Sir Hugh, died in 1425 seised of 
a messuage in Kidderminster called Purchas and 6 acres of 
land. Sir Hugh died Dec. 15, 1445, without issue, leaving 
Joyce his sister and heir. He was probably buried by the side 
of his first wife in the chancel of Kidderminster church, and the 
monument with their effigies is still in existence, though it has 
suffered mutilation. In right of his grandmother, Isabel 
daughter and heir of Agnes, sister and heir of George Braose 
(or Brewes), he quarters their arms with his own. The 
engraving represents the tomb as it was 100 years ago ; Sir 
Hugh's legs have disappeared in the interval ! Habingdon 
describes " a lady in a mantle faced with three rows of ermine, 
on several parts whereof were painted Cokesey's arms, kneeling 
before the Virgin and Child, and praying thus, ' Pm Mater, 
miserere mei,'" which was high on the wall above this monument. 

Joyce Cokesey, sister and heir of Sir Hugh, married (i) 
.... Beauchamp ; (2) John Grevill, of Campden, Gloucester- 
shire ; (3) Leonard Stapleton ; and under her courtesy title of 
Lady Joyce Beauchamp presented to the Chantry of our Lady 
at Kidderminster in 1468-9, and afterwards by name of Joyce 
Beauchamp, widow, in 1473. In 1469 she is said to have 
founded the Chantry of S. Katharine in Kidderminster church, 
and her effigy in a beautiful, though much mutilated, monu- 
ment is inserted in the upper part of the wall of the S. side of 
the church. A very poor drawing of this monument is given in 
Nash, Add. p. 50. She died in 1473, leaving a son, Sir John 
Grevill, kt., who inherited his mother's estates, and presented 
to the Chantry in 1479. He died 1480, leaving Thomas his son 



I 



THE BARONAGE. 43 

and heir 26 years of age, Thomas assumed his grandmother's 
name of Cokesey, and was one of the Knights of the Bath 
created at the coronation of Henry VII. He died in 1498, 
without issue, whereupon Robert Russell and Robert Winter, 
being his cousins and heirs, had livery of his lands. Caldwell 
came to Winter, and was in the possession of his family when 
Leland visited the town in 1539. George Wintour, of 
Hodington, who descended from Robert, sold it to the Clares, 
in whose family it remained till 1777. 



PEDIGREE OF COKESEY.* 



Sir Walter Cokesey =: Elizabeth 
of Cokesey, Worcs. 



d. 1295 



Walter Cokesey Hugh de Cokesey = Dionisi a le Boteler 



bur. in Kidder- 
minster 1356 



d. 1376 



I I 

Sir Walter Cokesey, kt. = Isabel d. and heir William 



d. 1405 



of Sir Urian de 
St. Pierre 



Thomas . WalterCokesey = MaudHarmanville = SirTohnPhelip 

A /^ M TT C J 

Archer" ' d. 1407; buried d. Oct. 2, 1415 

d. 1425 under brass 



(i) Joan d. Thos. = SiR Hugh Cokesey=(2) Alice Walter Elizabeth 
Nevill, Lord d. 15 Dec. 1445, s.p. d. 1459 Cokesey 
Furnivall bur. in Kidder- d. 1425 

minster chancel owner of 

" The Perchys " 



(i) Sir . . . Beauchamp = JoYCE = (2) John Grevill (3) Leonard Stapleton 

Sir John Grevill, kt.== 

Sir Thomas Cokesey, kt. of 
the Bath, d. 149S, s.p. 

* The pedigree in Nash ii., 50, is very inaccurate. 



44 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Simon Clare married Margaret Rice (Nash i., 260), daughter 
and heir of Simon Rice, who was a great benefactor to Kidder- 
minster, and built the Chantry of S. Mary at the east end of 
All Saints' church. He was a citizen and merchant of London, 
and the arms on the wall (now obliterated) were supposed to 
be those of the Merchant Adventurers with three ears of rye — 
an allusion to the name of the founder. On the middle part of 
the body of the church was a figure on a brass plate, with this 
epitaph : — " Of your charity pray for the souls of Thomas Rise 
and Margery his wife, and their children's souls, the which 
Thomas deceased 31 Dec, 1494." This Margery was one of 
the co-heirs of the ancient family of D'Abitot, of Croome, and 
through the marriage with her granddaughter, a large part of 
Croome D'Abitot came to the Clares of Caldwell. Simon Clare 
presented to Croome living in 1545, and Francis Clare in 1577. 
Their interest in Croome was purchased by Sir Thomas 
Coventry in the reign of James I. Simon Clare's second wife 
was Agnes daughter ^of Sir Thomas Blount : after 33 years of 
married life the wife died July 29, 1580, only six days after her 
husband. The pedigree of the family is appended, but Sir 
Ralph Clare played such a prominent part in the history of the 
town that we must reserve a further account of him for the 
" Celebrities." Sir Ralph, says the Herald's Visitation, died a 
bachelor in 1670. On the other hand Nash speaks of his great- 
grandson Francis Clare, who died at Kidderminster in 1777, 
aged 86. Most likely the descent is from Sir Ralph's brother 
Francis, a Captain of Foot in the service of Charles I., who 
died 1680. Another mistake appears in Sir Thomas Phillipps' 
additions to the Visitation, where he assigns a daughter to 
Captain Clare, who married John third son of Charles Acton, of 
Elmley Lovett. The Registers record the marriage (Feb. 5, 
1602) of Mr. John Acton to Mrs. (we should say " Miss ") Anne 
Clare : but this took place eight years before Captain Clare's 
birth. She was really daughter of Sir Francis (born Feb. 28, 
1584), and sister of Sir Ralph and Captain Francis. " Lady 
Anne Acton, of Elmley, widow," and Ralph Clare dealt with 
the advowson of All Hallows, Worcester, in 1622. (Midland 
Antiquary, ii., 31.) The arms of Clare, which appear to have 
been adopted as the groundwork of the borough arms, are given 



THE BARONAGE. 



45 



in the Herald's Visitation (1682) : — Quarterly, i and 4, Or, three 
chevvonells Gii. within a bordure engrailed Az. ; 2, Argent, a chevron 
between 3 spear heads Gu. on a chief Az. three martlets Or ; 3, Or, two 
lions passant the one in chief Gu. the other Az. within a bordure of the 
second. 

PEDIGREE OF CLARE OF CALDWELL. 



Thomas Rice=Margery Gilbert Clare=Anne Sir Thos. Blount- 



ob. 1494 



D'Abitot 
of Croome 



ob. 1550 



Simon Rice 



ob. 1575 



Anne 
Croft 



Margaret Rice^= Simon Clare= Agnes 



ob. 1580 



ob. 1580 



Sir Francis^ Muriel Sheldon Simon^Joan Clare^Thomas Pitt 

ob. 1612 



Sir Ralph 
ob. 1G70 



Richard 



John Pitt 



Anne=Sir John Acton Francis (Captain of Foot) 

ob. 1680 



Francis 



Ralph 



During the Middle Ages, as we have already seen, the 
ownership of the manor by a single baron had been breaking 
up ; but speaking roughly, we may say that the tripartite divi- 
sion of the parish, which was made in 1241, remained intact 
till 1546. Two-thirds had descended to the Lords Aber- 
gavenny, and one-third, together with the larger part of the 
Rectory, to the convent of Maiden Bradley. When the 
monasteries were suppressed in 1536-40, by far the largest 
portion of their property was shamelessl}^ distributed among 
the avaricious courtiers of Henry VHL Maiden Bradley fell 
to one of the most grasping of these plunderers, John Dudley, 
best known by his latest title of Duke of Northumberland. His 
father was the notorious lawyer Dudley, who so skilfully 
extorted money from the people to fill Henry VH.'s coffers and 
his own pockets. John Dudley, Lord Lisle, had a grant of the 



46 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Maiden Bradley property 21 Dec, 37 Henry VIII. (Patent Roll 
Hy. VIII., pt. 16.) This included the one-third of the lordship 
of Kidderminster, 01dington,Comberton, Hurcott, the patronage 
of the church, and all the great tithes that the monastery had 
been able to get hold of. Thus the best part of the tithes and 
church property fell into lay hands, and has remained so to this 
day. The sacrilegious plunder which this Lord Lisle appro- 
priated to his own use was enormous — 20 abbeys, colleges, and 
monasteries, besides chantries. At Kidderminster he seized 
upon two chantries, and at Bewdley he got another belonging 
to a guild which was a sort of friendly society of that time. He 
was raised to the Earldom of Warwick by Henry VIII., and 
created Duke of Northumberland by Edward VI. But he did 
not live long to enjoy his hastily and ill-gotten wealth, for in 
August, 1553, he was condemned for high treason, and lost his 
head by the executioner's axe on Tower Hill. As an attainted 
person his property fell to the Crown, and was soon distributed 
among various families. 

For the sum of ^"454 95., paid by Thomas Blount, of Kidder- 
minster, Queen Elizabeth granted him the manor and advowson 
of Kidderminster Feb. i, 1560, in as ample a manner as John 
Duke of Northumberland, then lately attainted, or any Prior of 
the late Priory, had held it, &c. But the Blounts had been 
living in the town for at least 20 years before this purchase. 
We find from the parish registers that in 1539 William Blount 
was buried here ; and in 1541, Feb. 5th, Joyce Blount was 
married to John Combes, of Stratford-on-Avon, from whose 
family Shakespere purchased 127 acres of land. (Halliwell- 
Phillipps, Outlines, pp. 128, 151.) 

In an altar tomb on the N. side of the choir lies the figure of 
Thomas Blount in armour, his head under his helmet, a ruff 
about his neck, by his side a gauntlet, and a lion at his feet. 
On his left hand his wife with a book in her joined hands, and 
two sons, two daughters, and a child in swaddling clothes 
standing against the back of the arch with the initials of their 
names in scrolls. The arms are Blount impaling Cornwall of 
Kinlet. On the side of the tomb is Waryn impaling Poney. 
The inscription round : — " Hie jacet Thomas Blount Armiger 



THE BARONAGE. 47 



et Margaria Uxor ejus qui quidem Thomas obiit Die 28° 
Novembs A.D. MCCCCCLXXX praedicta Margarita obiit Die 
2° Novemb^ A.D. MCCCCCLXXXXV. R.I. P." 

Close to the tower entrance of the church on the left is the 
monument of Sir Edward Blount in armour leaning on his 
elbow, and on his left his two wives. This stood formerly on 
the S. side of the chancel under a beautiful arch which, together 
with the lower portion of the tomb, has been " restored " awa}'. 
Nash describes it as it was 100 years ago : — " On the top of the 
arch stands an angel holding a shield with Barry nebule of 6 Or 
and Sable, Blount. On the tomb were shields Blount, impaling 
Gu. on a saltire Arg. a rose of the first, Nevill ; Blount, impaling 
Sa. 3 greyhounds current Arg. collared Or, Wigmore. On another, 
quarterly i. 4. Blount 2. Arg. a lion rampant Gn. crowned Or, 
within a border Sa. besantee. 3. Or, 3 chevrons Gu. impaling quarterly 
I. Nevill (2) Or fretty Gu. in a quarter per pale Ermine and Gu. a 
ship Sa. 3. cheque Or. and Az. Warren 4. Or 3 chevrons Gu. Clare 

5. Quarterly Arg. and Gu. fretty Or a bendlet Sa., Le Despencer 

6. Gu. a fesse between 6 cross crosslets Or, Beauchamp." The 
inscription (now gone) : — " Hie jacet Edwardus Blount eques 
auratus, hujus loci quondam dominus, antiquo et perillustri 
sanguine oriundus, matrimonio bis junctus : priorem duxit 
uxorem Mariam Neville baronis Abergavenii sororem ; alteram 
Mariam Wigmore antiquo stirpe atque nobili creatam. Vir fuit 
dotibus animi eximiis, acri semper et vivido ingenio, prudentia 
singulari, quern privatae vitae amor a negotiosis honoribus ad 
laudabile otium pertraxit ; rei familiaris nee parens nee pro- 
digus, domi elegans, in suos muniiicus, in pauperes liberalis : 
quern appetebant summi, colebant infimi, amabant omnes. 
Beatam vitam felici morte conclusit die 13° Novembris, A.D. 
1630, a^tatis 76. R.I. P." 

Sir Edward Blount, in 1601, and for some years later, was 
lessee of the Crown lands at Bewdley, and as such was engaged 
in much litigation with the town. From the State Papers 
(vol. ccxli.) we learn that in 1592 a bill was Irought into the 
Court of Exchequer by John Taverner, surveyor of woods S. of 
the Trent, against Edward Blount, of Kidderminster, for felling 
wood for eight years past in Wj'cr Forest, and converting 



48 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

timber worth ;^ioo to his own use; also firewood worth ;^ioo 
and underwood worth £50 ; and request for a writ of subpoena 
to summon Blount to appear and answer to the premises. 

Sir Edward Blount resided at the Hall close to the church- 
yard — the last remnants of which have been recently pulled 
down. When the Savings Bank in Hall Street was built the 
workmen found extensive vaults or crypts of solid masonry 
below, but all was covered up again without investigation. In 
1606 Sir Edward settled his estate upon Charles Lord Mount- 
joy, of Devonshire, and died in 1630. On May 6, 1635, Lord 
Mountjoy, Earl of Newport, for /'8650 sold part of the property 
to Edmund Waller, the famous poet. In 1643 the " English 
Tibullus " was detected in a plot to deliver up London to 
Charles I., and was brought to trial by the Parliament. After 
a year's detention in the Tower he was fined ;^io,ooo, and 
released " to go travel abroad." His estates were sold to raise 
the money : Comberton was bought by Adam Hough, whose 
name appears on the Court Rolls of Bewdley in 1655 as steward 
of the manor ; and was sold by his descendant Adam Hough, 
about 1777, to Mr. Steward. Hurcott was bought by George 
Evelyn, who in 1648 disposed of it to his famous brother John, 
author of Silva and the well-known Diary. John Evelyn soon 
afterwards sold it to Colonel John Bridges for ^3400. About 
1670 Colonel Bridges sold the patronage of the church to 
Thomas Foley, in whose family it remained till the whole Foley 
estate here was purchased by Lord Ward in 1838. 

The old Hall had been bought in 1635 by Daniel Dobbins, a 
London merchant, afterwards elected Member for Bewdley in 
Barebone's Parliament. Dobbins lived in Kidderminster for 
some years, and there are several entries of his family in the 
registers. He sold the " capital mansion house near the alms- 
houses adjoining to Stower side, the Vicarage meadow, and a 
meadow on the W. side of Stower, also one suite of arras con- 
taining 5 pieces," to Sir Thomas Rouse, of Rouse Lench, for 
;^i2oo. His son, Richard Dobbins, sold to Capel Hanbury, of 
Hoarstone, the tithes of Wribbenhall and Trimpley, Sept. 4, 
1680, for ^"692 ; and Capel Hanbury conveyed them to Thomas 
Foley in 16S9. 



THE BARONAGE. 



49 



PEDIGREE OF BLOUNT OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Sir Thomas Blount = Agnes d. of Sir Rd. Croft, 
of Kinlet bur. at Kidderminster 1549 



Joan = Edward = Margery William = Margaret Joyce=:John Agnes=Simon 
d. 1559 Cams d. 1539 Combes Clare 



Thomas=Margaret Gilbert: 
d. 1569 d. 1595 d. 1612 



George=:Joan Rowland=Alice 

Wilmot 



Mary =Sir Edward=Mary Walter=:. . . George ( of Wrib- Francis=Mary 



Nevill 
d.1617 



d. 1630 Wigmore 



Mary 



benhall) (of 

Franche) 



Anne Thomas 



Elizabeth 



Jane 



Anne 



The romantic story of Richard Foley, of Stourbridge, who 
by enterprise and skill restored the prosperity of an industry 
which was languishing from foreign competition, is told in 
Smiles' Self-Hclp, p. 207. By his energy he conferred immense 
benefits on his native county, and laid the foundations of a 
large fortune for his own family. His son, Thomas Foley, was 
Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1655, and Member for Bewdley in 
1660 and 1673. Baxter, who was Sheriff's Chaplain, and preached 
the sermon, says : — " I will mention the great mercy of God to 
the town of Kidderminster and country in raising up one man, 
Mr. Foley. Being a religious, faithful man, he purchased 
among other lands the patronage of several great places, and 
among the rest of Stourbridge and Kidderminster, and so chose 
the best conformable ministers that could be got ; and not only 
so, but placed his eldest son's habitation in Kidderminster, 
which became a great protection and blessing to tlie town, 
having placed two families more elsewhere of liis two other 
sons, all three religious, worthy men. And in lliaiikfulness to 

G 



so A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



God for his mercies to him, built a well-founded hospital near 
Stourbridge to teach poor children to read and write, and 
endowed it with about ;^5oo a year." The Foley motto, " Ut 
prosim " (That I may do good) is most appropriate in this case. 
His magnificent educational foundation has been of great 
benefit to thousands of poor boys, and is still so well adminis- 
tered that it is carrying on its good work to an extent that the 
founder little dreamed of. The present Lord Foley takes much 
interest in the institution, in which Kidderminster, Bewdley, 
Stourport, Dudley, and other places have a share. The annual 
value of the endowment now is about ;^5ooo, and the buildings 
have been enlarged to accommodate i6o boys, instead of the ori- 
ginal number of 60. Thomas Foley died in 1677, and is buried in 
Witley church, where a marble monument commemorates his 
many virtues. The accompanying pedigree will show the divi- 
sion of this family into the three main branches of Witley and 
Kidderminster, Stoke Edith, and Prestwood. Paul Foley, of 
Stoke, was a member of the Convention Parliament, 1688, and 
in 1695 was chosen Speaker of the House of Commons. Thomas 
Foley, grandson of the founder of the hospital, was Member for 
Staff"ord, and on 31 Dec, 171 1, was made Baron Foley of 
Kidderminster. He married Mary daughter and heir of 
Thomas Strode, serjeant-at-law, and died 22 Jan., 1732, leaving 
a son, Thomas second Lord Foley, High Steward of Kidder- 
minster, and five other children. All died sine prole, when the 
Barony became extinct. The estate was left by will to Thomas 
Foley, of Stoke Edith, who by a new creation was made Baron 
Foley of Kidderminster, May 20, 1776. His wife was Lady 
Grace Granville, daughter and co-heir of George Lord Lans- 
downe. One of his s'sters, Anne, was married to Sir Edward 
Winnington, from whom descend the Winningtons of Stanford 
and the Ingrams of Ribbesford. 

The Barony of Foley of Kidderminster has descended in 
unbroken line to Henry Thomas, fifth Lord, who succeeded 
to the title in 1869, and resides at Ruxley Lodge, Esher, 
Surrey ; but the Witley and Kidderminster estates were sold 
by Thomas Henry, fourth Lord, to the trustees of Lord Ward 
in 1838. 



THE BARONAGE. 



51 



PEDIGREE OF BARON FOLEY OF 
KIDDERMINSTER. 



= Richard Foley = Alice Brindley 
of Stour- 
bridge, 
d. 1657 



Richard 
d. s.p 



Thomas==Anne Browne 
d. 1677 I 



Elizabeth Ashe = Thomas of 
Witley & 
Kidder- 
minster 



Paul = Mary 



of Stoke 
Edith, 
d. 1699 



Lane 



Philip of Prestwood 

Paul 

I 
William 



Thomas = Mary Strode Thomas -Hester Elizabeth = John 



1st Baron 
d. 1732 



d. 1749 



Thomas 

2nd Baron 

d. 1766 



Andrews 



Hodgetts 



Thomas = Grace d. of George Granville, 



1st Baron 
d. 1777 



Baron Lansdowne. 



Thomas = Henrietta Stanhope, 



2nd Baron 
d- 1793 



d. of 2d Earl of 
Harrington 



Thomas = Cecilia Geraldine d. 



3rd Baron 
1833 



of 2nd Duke of 
Leinster 



I 



Thomas Henry = Mary Howard, d. 



4th Baron 
d. 1869 



of 13th Duke of 
Norfolk 



Henry Thomas 
5th Baron 



Fitzalan Charles 



vi 



William, nth Baron Ward, succeeded to the title on the 
death of his father in 1836. He was descended from Humble 
Ward, created Baron Ward of Birmingham in 1644, and his 
wife Frances Sutton, in her own right Baroness Dudley. In 
i860 he was created Earl of Dudley and Viscount Ednam. He 



52 



A HISTORY GF KIDDERMINSTER. 



married first Selina Constance daughter of Hubert de Burgh, 
Esq., and secondly Georgiana EHzabeth daughter of Sir 
Thomas Moncrieffe, 7th Baronet, and had four sons and a 
daughter. Lord Dudley has left a name which will live for 
many generations in the town of Kidderminster and the county 
of Worcester. For at a time when it seemed as though the 
carpet trade of Kidderminster must be annihilated, Lord 
Dudley generously came to the rescue, and the manufacture 
was started on a more successful career than before. The 
Church, the Infirmary, the Schools of Art and Science, and 
many other useful institutions, were benefited by his help. 
Lord Dudley died 1885, and was succeeded by his eldest son, 
William Humble, 2nd Earl of Dudley and 12th Baron Ward, 
elected High Steward of Kidderminster in 1888. In recogni- 
tion of the many benefits conferred on the town by the late 
Lord Dudley, a public memorial was erected, which took the 
form of a cloister to the parish church, with inscription on a 
brass plate : — 

" To the Glory of God and in memory of William Earl of Dudley, nth 
Baron Ward, this cloister was built, partly by subscriptions and partly by 
a donation from Thomas Tempest-Radford, Mayor, in the Jubilee year of 
the reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, as a remembrance of his many 
gifts to this church, of which he was patron, and also of his generous efforts 
to benefit the trade of the town, of which he was High Steward. 

" First Stone laid by Canon Claughton, then Vicar, July i, 1887. 

" Dedicated by Henry Lord Bishop of Worcester, Feb. i, il 

" Frederick Burgher, 
" Thomas F. Ivens, 



Borough 
Churchwardens. 



"Michael Tomkinson, Mayor,] 

" E. F. Whitehouse, J Churchwardens. 



Foreign 
irchwardf 

"R. J. Thompson, Builder." 



In place of the one hall for the lord, and the 60 mud houses 
for the serfs, mentioned at the beginning of the previous 
chapter, we have now hundreds of dwelling-houses in the 
parish, with which, for convenience and comfort, the ancient 
baronial halls could not for a moment compare. The Earl of 
Dudley owns by far the larger part of the old parish, but many 
smaller estates would be worthy of record if space allowed. 



THE BARONAGE. 53 

Some pedigrees of families connected with this neigh- 
bourhood may be found in the Worcester Visitation, 1682 : — 
Burlton of Sandbourne, Clare of Caldwell, Foley of Witley and 
Stourbridge, Oldnall of Stone, Solley of Lickhill and Wribben- 
hall, Spicer of Stone, Townshend of Elmley Lovett, Toye of 
Kidderminster, Vernon of Caldwell, Wilde of Belbroughton, 
Wilmot of Kidderminster; and in the British Museum (Addi- 
tional MS. No. 31,003) Crane of Habberley, Hurtill of Trimpley, 
Soley of Sandbourne, Seabright of Wolverley, Jewkes, Steward, 
Wannerton, and Pardoe of Kidderminster. 




54 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



CHAPTER IV. 



^be Boroucjb, 



iji 




N 1 24 1 a charter was obtained for two fairs yearly 
at Kidderminster. Before 1333 fairs and markets 
were a regular institution in the town, though 
when the charter for the market was first obtained 
I have not met with any evidence. Most likely 
it was founded when the town was the King's 
private property. But as early as 23 Edward I. (1295) Kidder- 
minster took its place as one of the leading towns in the county, 
and returned two burgesses to Parliament. In the Parlia- 
mentary Reports (page 6) their names are recorded — " Walter 
Caldrigan and Walter Lihtfot — Kidderminster Borough." 
Besides Worcester county and city, there were also represen- 
tatives from Droitwich, Dudley, Evesham, and Pershore, but 
in a few years all these towns renounced their privilege except 
Worcester and Droitwich. The members of Parliament 
received daily wages, and thus the representation of a town laid 
a burden on its inhabitants from which they were glad to be 
delivered. Kidderminster, as being ancient demesne of the 
Crown, was relieved from contribution to the wages of the 
knights of the shire. 

In our list of husbandmen holding land in the " foreign " we 
found only one solitary freeman ; but there are indications that 
in the borough this class was well developed in the 13th cen- 
tury. In 1230 a certain man of free condition of the manor of 
Kidderminster recovered common pasturage at Witfield, per- 
taining to the manor of Wolverley, before the itinerant Justices 
at Worcester. (Annal. Eccles. Wigorn. in Ang. Sacr., i., 488.) 
In the British Museum (Egerton MSS., 456) is an original deed 



THE BOROUGH. 55 



in Latin of the time of Edward I., containing a grant by Henry- 
Thomas, of Fraynshe, to Robert Troke, clerk, of Kyderminster, 
of land in Wytefeld. Witnesses : Hugh Mustell, Robert Att- 
wood (de Bosco), John de Kent, Richard Brid (Bird), and 
Richard Pitt (in Piitco). Though this deed is contemporaneous 
with the list of villeins given in Chapter H., the names are 
all new, and giwe evidence of the rise of a new class, libere 
tenentes, or copyholders within the borough. In a Taxation Roll 
for Worcestershire belonging to Sir E. Lechmere (Hist. MSS. 
Report, v., p. 304), Kidderminster ranks fourth among the towns. 
There are 58 names, contributing £g 55. 4^. Worcester paid 
£^2 115. 6d., and Droitwich £2^ 13s. 2d. The growth of freedom 
in the town is obscure, but the borough is fortimate in the 
possession of a record of proceedings which took place at a 
Court held here 557 years ago. It shows how tenaciously the 
burgesses clung to the privileges they had already gained, and 
how far self-government had advanced. 

"In the Court holden on Monday next after the feast of St. Michael the 
Archangel, in the 7th year of the reign of King Edward the third 
from the Conquest. 

" It was required by John de Costone, Steward (Senescallus) of John 
Bissett in what way and in what manner and by what title the Commonalty 
of the Burgesses of the Town of Kidderminster ought to elect Bailiffs on 
Monday next after the feast of St. Michael and not the lord; and why the 
said Bailiffs ought on the days of fairs and markets to be fed out of the 
lord's toll ; and why the Provosts or Bailiffs ought to gather the toll and not 
render an account : and why all the Burgesses tenants and inhabitants in 
the Borough have not come twice in the year to the view of Frankpledge 
held upon the Hill (super Montem). 

" The Reply by Edmund, Lord of Hagley, Clement Lord of Dunclent, 
Robert Atwood (de Bosco), John de Hethey, John de Kent, and by all the 
Burgesses and the whole community of the Town of Kidderminster. And 
they said that in ancient time of a certain King, whereof there exists no 
memorial, the said Burgesses elected one Bailiff on the aforesaid Monday to 
serve the King, namely, to gather the toll and place the said toll in a certain 
box, and render it without an account. And the said Burgesses on the said 
Monday ought to elect one Catchpoll to make all the attachments and well 
and faithfully gather the money of the pleas and perquisites of the court, and 
render an account when he shall be required by the lord's ministers for the 
time being. And for the labours and services of the said Bailiffs for the 
time being, upon the days of the courts, fairs and markets, they ought to be 
fed with the lord out of the lord's toll. And the said Bailiffs ought to elect 



56 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



six Burgesses and not more, and to send them to the view of Frankpledge, 
twice during the year, namely, on Wednesday next after the feast of St. 
Michael, and on Wednesday next after Hockday. [The Tuesday in the 
third week after Easter.] 

" Custom allowed and may be held for law. And the said John Coston 
allowed this reply, because it was allowed in former time whereof there is 
no memorial." 

Under the system of frank-pledge all the freemen residing in 
the same "tithing" were . pledged to the King for the good 
conduct of each other ; and if any one of them did wrong all 
the rest were bound to secure his arrest, or pay the penalty. 
The " view of frank-pledge " was a sort of roll-call, testifying to 
the fact that the frank-pledges were in full efficiency, and that 
every one belonged to such a body. Some interesting cases, 
showing the practical working of this system in Worcestershire, 
were contributed to Berro-w's Journal in November, 1889, by Mr. 
J. B. Matthews. 

Among the records of the town is " The Composition of the 
Manner and Burrow of Kethermister A.D. 1102." It sets forth 
that " In the tyme of King Henry the Firste was the Burrow 
of Ketherminster gyven and Assured by the same Kyng unto 
Master Bissett his gentleman Shoure with all freedomes, 
customs and priviledges as ffreelie and as honorablie as Any 
Noble Manne off England Inioyed the same." The document 
is written on vellum, and is very old, but there are two palpable 
mistakes in it. Henry the Second was the donor, not Henry I. ; 
and the date is really about 1330, as Edmond Lord of Hagley, 
Clement of Dunclent, Robert Atwood, John a Heathey, and 
John a Kent are among the jury. 

Business was transacted in or around the Market Cross, which 
from Leland's description must have been a beautiful Gothic 
structure. It stood in the High Street, and is shown in 
Doharty's map (1753). A boundary was marked out by the 
Worcester Cross, Proud Cross, Barriers in Church Street, and 
Dakebrooke (Daddlebrook) in Blackstar Street, and if any 
trader had dealings within these limits and failed to pay his 
lawful toll, he was mulcted in the large sum of 605. and a purse 
to the lord. 

The Court-House, where the lord resided when in the town, 



THE BOROUGH. 57 



was close to the church. Its " Grange," " Barn," and 
" Orchard " have left their names on our modern map. Near 
it on " The Hill " were held every year in the open air the two 
Courts Leet. As the lords of Kidderminster had their chief 
houses in distant places, and only visited the town occasionally, 
much power naturally fell into the hands of the local authori- 
ties. When men gained the " freedom " of the borough they were 
enrolled, after payment to the lord, into a community, by the 
"Twelve" and the "Twenty-four" men, the germ of our 
Aldermen and Town Councillors. On the Monday after 
Michaelmas Day the Twenty-four Burgesses elected the High 
Bailiff, and he then chose for himself an " Assistance " or Low 
Bailiff, and two "Catchpolls" or constables, for his year of 
office. At the two great " Leetes Courts " the Bailiff gave a 
dinner at his own cost to the Low Bailiff and his wife, the 
Town Clerk and his wife, and the Twelve men and their wives. 
In important matters " for the prince and the lord," the Bailiff 
was to send his " Assistance " to fetch at least three of the 
eldest of the Burgesses to ask their advice. The Bailiff had 
also a Gaoler, who was required to deliver up his prisoner to 
the Constable at Worcester Cross when the term of his 
imprisonment expired. The Catchpolls had to gather up all 
the amercements for their year, and account for them to the 
lord's auditor, and they received i2d. each felon for their 
trouble. They also received fees of meal, salt, old clothes sold, 
of mercers and wheelwrights, of bread wanting weight, of pro- 
claiming of beasts, &c. Any one who did " Ivell cawle or yvell 
intreate " the Bailiff or Catchpolls was to be grievously 
punished. The lord of Kidderminster had the power of life and 
death in the manor, and it was his duty to provide the halter 
(Collistngium), a Goomstool for the ducking of scolding 
women, the Pillory, and Stocks. Once a month the Bailiff was 
to weigh bread both white and brown : if it lacked the assize 
the baker was to be put in the pillory and the bread given to 
the poor. Butchers who exposed for sale any " messled 
brawne " or leprous meat must cover the same with a linen 
cloth and put salt upon it, as a sign of its unsoundness. Unless 
this were done, the Catchpoll might seize it, and tlie Bailiff 
give the same to the poor ! 

H 



58 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

No artificers called Tencers, the Burgesses excepted, could 
occupy their " Syences " without the consent of the Bailiff. 
All measures were to be sealed with the Bailiff's seal, viz., the 
bushel, the half-bushel, the peck, the half-peck, the tolled dish, 
the pottel pot, the quart, the pint pot, and the half-pint. The 
standard weights and measures of the statute of Winchester 
were in his custody : one iron ell, one brazen pound, half- 
pound, and quarter-pcund, one iron seal for leather, one for 
pots, one for yards, and one for strikes and lesser measures. If 
the Burgesses did not at all times assist the Bailiff and his 
officers they could be disfranchised of their " Burges shipp." 

All the Burgesses might fish freely in the Stour between the 
mouth of Blake brook and the mouth of Wannerton brook ; 
but if they fished to sell they must make a fine with the lord. 
The fishponds at the Mill and the Sluice were reserved. The 
Burgesses could also fish in the Severn up to the middle of the 
water. All the meadows alongside the Stour were common 
after mowing and raking, but if any '* waif or kemelyng " came 
into the demesne it was to be seized for the lord. A woman 
after her husband's death was to have his land, but only during 
her good behaviour. If a waif or kemelyng came into the 
borough it was to be proclaimed thrice at the fairs and markets, 
and thrice in the church. If claimed the owner must prove 
possession before the lord's officers at third hand, and find 
pledges for a year and a day in case of a counter claim. If not 
claimed within a year and a day it was to be parted between 
the lords. If the waif was found in the foreign, it was assigned 
to the lord on whose land it was found ; if on the highway it 
was divided between the three lords, as the roads were consi- 
dered to be their joint property. Swarms of bees were treated 
as " waifs and kemelyngs." 

Each lord was to have heriots and reliefs from the free 
tenants in his demesne, except the Burgesses of Kidderminster. 
Also each lord was to have after the death of a customary 
tenant {i.e., a villein) the best heriot, a two-horse cart iron 
bound* the half (nistamm ?), the half of the pigs, the half of the 



* Iron was expensive, and many wheels were made of solid wood by- 
sawing a tree at right angles to its length. 



THE BOROUGH. 59 



cloths not assysed, and the horses, but not the mares. " The 
customary tenants in the land remaining in the lord's hand 
shall make a fine with the lord in full court, three proclamations 
having been made, and he who is of nearest kin to the deceased 
man, according to the custom of the manor, shall have the best 
besides (?) " 

No lord nor rector might have a dead heriot while there was 
a live heriot. If there was only a pig it was to be parted 
between the lord and the rector : if below the value of 6d. the 
lord was to have the whole. 

No tenant could make a sub-tenant in the manor without his 
lord's permission under penalty of forfeiture of his tenure. 

Tenants were not permitted to make " Stakings " for catching 
fish in the Stour and Severn without licence of the lords. 

On fair days and markets the Burgesses might set up stalls 
and tables in front of their houses, but were to remove them 
afterwards on account of the danger to strangers passing 
through the town by night. Outsiders were to pay for each 
stall id. to the lord and ^d. to the Low Bailiff. 

As a precaution against fire, every householder was required 
in dry weather to have a vessel full of water near his doorway. 
He was also forbidden to make a pile of brushwood, hay, or 
straw in the borough near the houses, under a penalty of 40^^., 
half to the lord and half to the church. The same penalty was 
inflicted on those who allowed their swine to wander in the 
streets without a keeper. 

" Regrators " were not allowed to come early to market and 
buy up the goods to " make a ring." No one could traffic till 
the bell was tolled, and he ought not to buy more than was 
required to supply his house from one fair day to another, under 
a penalty of 40^., half to the lord and half to the church. The 
brewers of the town had to pay 6d. twice a 3^ear, and minute 
precautions were taken to ensure the townsmen a " good glass 
of beer." " If a man or vvoman buy a gallon of beer dearer 
than the assize, that buyer may go immediately to the Bailiff 
and make complaint, and shall have of the lord one farthing for 



6o A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

his pains."''' But this was not alh There were certain official 
beer-tasters who were required to present twice in the year 
" both how many there are who make weak beer, and who do 
not make wholesome beer, and who do not invite them to taste 
the beer as often as they brew it." 

The tolls payable to the lord were : — For a horse or mare, 
buyer 2d. and seller 2d. ; for an exchange, double tolls ; for an 
ox or bullock, id. from each dealer ; for four sheep, the same ; 
for a load of fish, herrings, corn, &c., 2d. from each ; for a horse 
load of anything, ^d. ; for the load of a man or woman, ^d. If 
the purchaser lived in the town he was free from these tolls, 
unless he bought the goods to retail them. If a " Native" of 
the lord bought anything, he was freed from toll, and made 
affirmation upon the book before the Bailiff with the thumb 
upwards as a sign. 

On the eve of the Ascension the Bailiff and Burgesses peram- 
bulated the town. From Ascension-tide till Michaelmas the 
Bailiff had to see that a watch went three times nightly over 
the demesne. Also on fair or market days the Bailiff, attended 
by three Ancient Burgesses and Catchpolls, went round the 
town " to see the peace kept in good order." They likewise 
appointed a Borough Herdman to keep the cattle in the lord's 
waste, and a Borough Swineherd for the pigs who went for 
" pannage," or acorns and beech mast in the lord's wood. 

Some regulations for the making of woollen cloth and kerseys 
will be deferred to another chapter. 

Lastly we meet with an ordinance which shows vividly with 
what a far-away time we are dealing : — 

" Also wee will that the bayleeff may keep a grayhound or a gray Bitch 
and a fferret for the tyme off his office, and 3 dayes in the weeck to huntt 
ffor to kill two cowple of Rabbitts or Connies within your warrant and nott 
Above in payn of xxs. 

" Also we will that the burgesses shall and may keepp one gray hound or 
gray Bitch for to huntt the hare ffox, Roe Red dear or fallow deare. 



* When barley was 25. a quarter 4 gallons of beer was to be sold for a 
penny. Hops were then unknown in England. 



THE BOROUGH. 6i 



" Also wee will that your Burgesses may comming throw your warrant 
with his bow bentt nott going outt of the high way may kill a Conney and so 
to bear hir away uppon the end off his Bow, and shall nott kill Above one in 
payn off xxs., and that no tencer shall kill any within your warrant in payne 
of xxs." 

The Park ran close up to the town from which it was sepa- 
rated by Park-lane ; and as late at 1753 (see Doharty's Map) 
this lane was bounded only by palings and hedges on both sides 
as far as Caldwell. A track ran across the Park towards 
Bewdley, and all the space between Kidderminster and Wrib- 
benhall, including Wood Street, the Workhouse, Spring Grove, 
&c., was a preserve for game. Leland in 1539 went " from 
Kidderminster to Beaudly, two miles, by a fayre downe, but 
somewhat barren." In the Act passed in 1774 for enclosing 
waste lands the following are enumerated : — " Upper and Lower 
Witchells, Rocum otherwise Rockham, the Long Coppice, the 
Yew Tree Coppice, the Spread Coppice, the Crofts, Dobyn's 
Sling, Black Brook Common, Ferney Bank, Oldington Com- 
mon, Kidderminster Upper and Lower Heath, Burlish Com- 
mon, Pools called the Slashes, &c." By this Act it was 
expressly forbidden to cut down the clumps of firs on the hill 
called the Sheep-rack or on IMount Pleasant, as being trees of 
ornament ; and the roads to be laid out must be 60 feet wade. 

On the flat piece of land between Mill Street and Park Lane 
were the Park Butts, where the Burgesses gained such skill in 
the use of the bow that, "not going out of the highway," they 
could shoot conies ; and most likely some of them acquired here 
the deadly precision which 12 years afterwards made such havoc 
amongst the French at Cress}^ Skill in archery was much 
fostered by the laws. In Edward IV. 's reign it was enacted 
that every Englishman should liave a bow of his own height, 
and that butts for the practice of archery should be erected near 
every village, where the inhabitants were obliged to shoot up 
and down on every feast da}^ under penalty of being mulcted a 
halfpenny. In 12 Edw. IV., cap. 2, it was ordered that four 
bowstaves should be brought into this realm for every ton of 
merchandise ; and in 22 Edw. IV., " Whosoever shall sell a 
long bow of yew above 35. 4^. shall forfeit 205." Again in 
I Rich. III., cap. 2, " Ten bowstaves shall be brought into this 



62 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



realm for every butt of Malmsey." A " ring" of Lombards had 
raised the price from :{2 to ^8 the hundred. 

It is not easy to put all our information about a locality in 
olden times into a continuous narrative, and yet every authentic 
scrap of such knowledge which has survived the lapse of five or 
six centuries is worthy of record. The following original deeds 
are in the British Museum : — 

" Grant by Henry de Feckenham of Kidderminster to John son of 
Margery Atte Malpas of land called Oldefelde near Fraynsh. Witnesses : 
Henry de Waresleye clerk, Wolston de Kent, Geoffrey Oky, Simon de 
Bromesgrove. Dat. at Kidderminster, Tuesday after the Annunciation of 
the Blessed Virgin Mary, lo Edward HI. (1336). [Egerton MSS., 462.] 
Brown seal of Henry de Feckenham : three bars. 

" In July 1381 John Malpas of Kyderminster gave to his son William one 
tenement formerly William Hickeson's, then held by William Hulpole — 
" which tenement is situated in Covyntre Street." Witnesses — Rich. Ov'don, 
Nicholas Polton, Bailiff. (Prattinton MSS.) 

" Grant by Thomas Mai, Vicar of Kidderminster, and Henry de Penne 
chaplain, to William son of Thomas Kent of Kidderminster of lands granted 
to them by the above Thomas Kent within the Manor of Kidderminster. 
Witnesses William Hulpole, John Sugge, Bailiffs of Kidderminster, John 
Mai, William Hayle, Geoffrey Heryng, John Janyns, Constantine Baker, 

Alice . Dat. at Kidderminster Monday before S. Barnabas 11 Rd. II. 

(1388). Appended are two seals, one of them in red wax containing the 
arms of Thomas Mai, viz., a chevron between three mauls or wooden 
hammers. [Eg. MSS. 465.] 

" Release by Thomas Hetheye son and heir of John Hetheye son of Lucy 
Hygne of Kydermynstre to William Malpas Chaplain of a tenement in 
Church Street (in vico qui ad ecclesiam ducit). Witnesses : Sir Walter de Coke- 
sey, John Pryntour, John Horewode, Bailiffs, Henry Mai & others. Dat. 
at Kidderminster Thursday after S. John ante Port. Lat. 1 Henry IV. (1400) 
[Eg. MSS. 470] . A red seal of Hethey is appended with arms — a chevron 
betwen three escallops. 

" Grant by William Bleke of Haberley to Richard Becke of Pokelyston 
(Puxton) and Cristina his wife of a tenement called Gronelonde in Franche 
which he had from William Bernard of Haberley. Witnesses : John Hoke, 
William Brede, John Lorde, &c. Dat. at Franche, Thursday after S. 
Matthew's day 9 Henry V. (1421). The dark green seal of John Ponet is 
affixed. The device appears to be that of an Apostle with a staff in his hand, 
[Eg. MSS. No. 472.] " 

From these deeds it may be noticed that much of the land 
was beginning to pass from the great lords into the possession 
of the traders and yeomen. 



THE BOROUGH. 63 



The practice of granting repairing leases for a long term of 
years was in use as early as 1440. 

" This Indenture made between Robert Prior of Maiden Bradley and 
Zenanus Troghman of Wrybenhalle witnesseth : That the Prior and Convent 
have conceded to Zenanus one messuage and half a virgate of land in 
Trympley, which were John Rogers's together with a marsh (Mera) lying 
near Caldwell Mill which was formerly John Oldenhall's To be held to the 
end of 90 years, by paying annually 6s. 8(/. and doing all other services due 
by ancient custom ; but they shall be relieved from the offices of Bailiff and 
Beadle; and on condition that Zenanus and his assigns shall well and com- 
petently repair and keep up three houses, Dat. Sunday before Lady Day 
i8 Henry VI." 

I have not been able to trace the destination of the old Court 
Rolls of the Manor. In them there would most likely be a mine 
of information. The Wanley MS. (p. 167) preserves one day's 
proceedings more than 400 years ago. The feudal system was 
still kept up in form, but was becoming more assimilated in its 
working to modern uses. The large tenant farmer has arisen 
with his 160 acres of land at Sutton, and most likely his own 
exclusive plough-team. Instead of his best horse or cow or 
iron-bound wagon for a heriot, he pays only the fixed sum of 
"zod. The rental of 2W. an acre would not be thought exorbi- 
tant in these days ! 

" Kedermynstre. At a Great Court held there on The Hill {super Montem) 
on Wednesday next after the Feast of S. Michael the Archangel in the 4th 
year of King Edward the Fourth after the Conquest. 

" Nicholas Wakemon came and surrendered into the Lord's hands 5 
virgates of land with appurtenances in Sutton and one Parroke lately in the 
tenure of Thomas Rugge ; and after this came John Symons and Thomas 
Dukeford Cooper, and took the aforesaid 5 Virgates and a Parroke, which 
the Lord granted to the same John and Thomas to be held by them and 
their heirs for the term of 79 years. Rendering thence annually for each 
virgate 5s. M., and for the Parroke gd. ; besides which they shall be free 
from the offices of Beadle (Bcdellus, perhaps the ' Catchpoll ') and Bailiff. 
And each of them shall give the Lord for a Fine 6s, Sd. and a Heriot after 
his death 2od. 

"There was also granted to them and John Kay, licence to catch conies 
in the arable land there. And after this they did fealty to the Lord and 
were admitted tenants. 

" In testimony whereof the seal of the Steward {Si'iiescaUus) is appended." 

Sir I lumplirc)' Stafford, of Grafton Manor, near Bromsgrove, 



64 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

owned lands in Kidderminster, and fought for Richard III. at 
Bosworth. He was afterwards attainted and executed and his 
lands granted to John Darell, John Pympe, and Sir Gilbert 
Talbot. In 1487 a pardon and restitution of possessions was 
granted by the Crown to Thomas Kynfare alias Taillour, Town 
Clerk of Kidderminster. 

Burgesses of Kidderminster were occasionally appointed 
Collectors of the Royal Subsidies for the county, viz., 10 Ed. 
III., Hugh de Cokesey ; 18 Ed. III., Robert Attwood ; 25 
Ed. Ill, Edmund Dunclent ; 45 Ed. III., John Clare ; 18 Rd. 
II., John Spicer ; 2 Henry IV., Walter Clare ; 2 Henry V., 
Richard Shareshull ; and 8 Hy. VI., John Stodeley, goldsmith. 

Where any misunderstanding had arisen concerning pro- 
perty, the matter was often settled as a " Final Concord " 
before the Judges. Some of these have been recorded. [Lans- 
downe MS., 30c, fol. 174. Impensis Dili Thames PJiillipps, Bavt., 

1853-] 

I Edw. III. (1327). Walter de Cokeseye and Isabella his wife with Richard 
de Portes concerning a tenement in Leitleye. 

Adam de la Lowe with Richard le Taylor of Kyderministre. 

Richard of Stone and Cecilia his wife with Richard son of the said 
Richard. 

Joan wife of with Robert Pipard about tenements in Kidder- 
minster and Stone. 

1330. Robert de Ribbesford with Henry de Ribbesford concerning the 
manor of Ribbesford, lands in Roke and Lindon, and the advow- 
son of the church aforesaid. 

1334. Hugh Mustell and Isabella his wife with John son of Thomas le 
Boteler, chevalier, concerning one messuage, one shop, one caru- 
cate and 10 acres of land, 16 acres of meadow with appurtenances 
in Haberley, Kyderministre, and Pokelston. 

William le Botelier and Sarra his wife with William de Okhampton 
and Joan his wife, about lands in Great Comberton. 

1349. Nicholas le Peyntour of Kydderminstre with Richard de Bohhull 
and Isabella his wife, about tenements in Chadeleswyche and 
Winlyngwyche. 

John de Beauchamp of la Holte and Isabella his wife with Richard 
Shope of Bewdley [de Bella Loco] and Agnes his wife, about lands 
in Children-hanley. 



THE BOROUGH. 65 



1350. William son of Hugh de Cokesey with Hugh de Cokesey and Dionisia, 
about lands in Cudbaldesheye, Purshall, and Upton. 

1355. Hugh de Cokesey and Dionisia with Hugh their son, about lands in 
Aldermonstone. 

8 Rd. n. (1385). John Beauchamp of Holte with Sir Walter Romesy, Kt., 

about the manor of Kyderminster. 

1386. Sir Walter Romesey, Kt., with Sir John Beauchamp of Holte and 
Joan his wife, about the manor of Kyderminster. 

1393. Thomas Kendale of Wyche with Thomas Santon of Kyderminster 
and Lucy his wife, about lands in Kyderminster. 

Hy. IV. 141 1. Walter Elyot Parson of the Church of Rybbesford with 
Richard Parlour and his wife Margery, about 3 messuages 3 virgates 
of land 20 acres of meadow and 200 acres of Common in Colyng- 
wyck and Alveton. 

Hy. V. 8. Thomas Henster with Robert Nelme, of Worcester, about 2 
messuages, one carucate of land, 7 acres of meadow, and 11 marks 
of rent, in LeykhuU (Lickhill), Nethermytton, and Kyder- 
minster. 

Hy. VI. I. Richard Beauchamp Earl of Warwick with Thomas Longeley 
Bishop of Durham, John Throkemorton, and John Barton about 
the manors of . . . Ribbesford, Rook, Lyndon, 14 salt works, 
37 buUaries, . . . and the advowson of the church of 
Ribbesford. 

Hy. VIII. 13. Simon Rice with Gilbert Clare about tenements in Kidder- 
minster. 

16. Gilbert Clare with John Hore about the manor of Hethey 
with appurtenances, and tenements in Hethey and Kidder- 
minster. 

17. Simon Rice with Henry White about the manor of Over 
Mitton and tenements in Mitton, Over Mitton, and Nether 
Mitton. 

23. Thomas Englefield with Richard Lorde about tenements in 
Kyderminster and Wragenhale. 

26. John Pakyngton with John Hale, clerk, about tenements in 
the city of Worcester, Over Mytton, Kedermynster, and 
Oldyngton. 

30. Thomas Baylly with Agnes Hyll about tenements in Nether 
Mytton and Lykehull. 

34. Thomas Ratsey with Rd. CoUey gent, about property in 
Heref., Salop, Devon, and Kidderminster. 
I 



65 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Hy. VIII. 34. John Wannerton with John Coston about tenements and 
common pasture for 100 sheep and 40 animals in Wannerton. 

38. Adam Lutley with John Pakynton about tenements in Over 
Mytton, Woldyngton, and Kederminstre. 

Ed. VI. John Harward with Roger Wall about property in Waresley, 

„ 4. John Hambury with Wra. Beste — Waresley. 

Car. II. 1649. Rd. Baker with Milo Clent gent. 

Robt. Haye with Rd. Hobday alias Lacy. 

Wm. Browne with John Browne. 

Wm. Yarranton with Walter Higley (Astley). 

John Vincent with Thos. Vincent (Trimpley). 

Simon Potter with John Browne. 

Humphrey Burton gent, with W. Smyth gent. 
(Wribbenhall). 

1650. Thos. Hunt with John Radford gent. 

Rd. Sergeant clerk with W. Toy (Hagley). 

1651. W. Bund gent, with Daniel Dobbyns arm. 
Walter Wilkes with John Freeston and Wilkes. 

John Freeston clerk with Thos. Dawkes and Freeston. 

1652. Thomas Powys Esq. with Edmond Walker Esq. and 

Dobins. 

Lawrence Pearsall with Jane Radford. 

Richard Clarke with Wm. Bowyer and Hunt. 

George Clarke with John Clare. 

Nicholas Addenbrooke gent, with Thomas Wannerton 
(Churchill). 

Wm. Grove with Edward Grove (Over Mitton). 

Thomas Lewes with John Wade and Sawyer. 

Ursula Tompkins alias Weaver with John Soley gent. 
(Horestone). 

Henry Malpas with John Winford and Hayward Smyth. 

1653. Wm. Browne with Joane Churchyard widow and Bennett. 

Rd. Hanbury Esq. with Matthew Odhams. 

Rd. Hanbury Esq. with Alice Longmore, widow 
(Horestone). 

Hy. Wheler Esq. with John Stephyn Esq. and Willetts. 

Wm. Browne with Adam Hough gent. 



THE BOROUGH. 67 



Car. II. 1653. Thos. Crane with Simon Uftemore. 
Humphrey Wyldye with John Clare. 
[Sir Thomas Phillipps has printed a list down to 13 Anne.] 

The steady growth of individual Hberty among the com- 
monalty between 1334 and 1500 is well illustrated by the 
privilege they had acquired of making a testamentary disposal 
of their property. At the earlier period, when a customary 
tenant died, his best iron-boimd wain, half his pigs, half the 
bacon, half of the cloth not assised, and all his horses (not the 
mares) became the property of the lord. The tenant had 
apparently no power of making a will, but his goods and tenant- 
right, after three public proclamations, were assigned to his 
next-of-kin, according to the custom of the manor. Sir Thomas 
Phillipps (MSS., No. 21,064) has made a collection of Wor- 
cestershire wills, of which a few specimens will be of interest as 
throwing light on the domestic life of three or four centuries 
ago:— 

" 1509. In the name of God, Amen. I William Coton of the parish of 
Kyddeminster. Imprimis I leave my soul to God the Father Almighty, the 
Blessed Mary and all the Saints, and my body to ecclesiastical sepulture in 
the church of All Saints at Kyddeminster. I leave to the mother church of 
Worcester 4 pence ; to the high altar 4 pence ; to my wife three cows half 
of my rye and 2 brass pots. Also I leave to Roger my son all my sheep at 
Hurcote 5 oxen and all the crops growing upon my land, and 2 pots. Also 
to John My 11 one cow, to Agnes Walker one cow. Also I leave to the chapel 
of the Blessed Mary in the churchyard of Kidderminster 6 shillings and 8 
pence. Also I leave to Johanna my daughter half of my rye and 5 animals 
of three years old. Also I leave to John Bagger 2 sheep. Also I leave to 
Thomas Garet one sheep. The residue of all my goods, not disposed of, 
after payment of debts, I give and leave at the disposal of Roger my son 
and of Alice my wife, and I ordain and constitute them my executors to 
dispose of my goods as may seem to them best for the good of my soul. These 
being witnesses, 

" Sir John Barnett, Chaplain, Walter Flemyng, 
William Buknyll, and others." 

The next will is that of Thomas Forest, who was probably 
the Bailiff to whom Lord Bergavenny addressed his letter \n 
1485 (see p. 38):— 



68 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

" 151 1. I, Thomas Forest of Chaddesley bequeath to the high altar of 
Stone i2d. I bequeath to our Ladye of Pyte in Kydderminster i2d. for the 
lights before her. I bequeath to our Ladye in Kydderminster next the 
Trynite zzd. Item to Jesus Awter in Kidderminster i2d. Item to our Ladye 
of Hartilbury i2d. Item to our Lady's service of Stone 20 shepe of thos 
that be in the keeping of Thomas Parkes, or the valew, And all my beefs 
which be with John Oldenall. Item I bequeath my londe att the Lye and 
my house in Stone to the Wardens of our Ladys Chapel of Stone for ever- 
lasting times, being for increase and founding of a priest's service." 

"In the name of God Amen the 23rd day of Marche in the yere of our 
Lord God 1546. I William Hyheway of Kidderminster sike in body hole of 
mynd and of perfect Rememberance ferying deathe Shulde me approache 
make this my last will. First I bequethe my soul unto Almighty God our 
Lady Saynt Mary to all the holy company of heavyn, and my body to be 
buryed in the church yard of Kidderminster. Itm unto the high alter of 
Kidderminster lad. Itm to the reparacons of Bewdley brydge lad. to 
Agnes Beterton my daughter the house in Worcester Strete, the barne in 
the barne Strete, my wiffes seconde gowne, a payor of Shetes and a kercheffe. 
Itm to Alice Rise my daughter the house in Mylstrete a Red heyfur, a payer 
of shetes a kertell and a smocke. Itm to Thomas Gilis the house that I 
dwell in with a bedde. Itm to Thomas Trupe my worste wheles and my 
tomberell my 2nd gowne and my best fether bed. Itm I bequethe to 
Margarett Warall my daughter all my right and interest of deltses closse 
which I hold by indenture, my black horse, 20 strike of malte, a payer of 
shetes, my best potte and panne. Itm I bequethe to the children of my 
brother John, Agnes, Alis, Margery, and Margaret, my daughters all my 
bees indifferently to be devyded amongst them. I bequethe to my coson 
William Willies one pece of new cloth conLeyning 3 yds. Itm I bequethe to 
my brother John my best gowne my best wagne wheles and my wayne body. 
Itm I bequethe to Peter Abraham a shete." 

' In the name of God Amen. In the year of our Lord 1546 and of the 
Reygne of Henry VIII of England France and Ireland Kyng defensor of the 
faythe and in erthe of England and Ireland hedd suprem.e the 38'h year the 
30th May. I Rychard Hill of Kyddmistre make my test, in this wyse 
followinge. I bequethe my soule to God and my body to be buryed in the 
church yard of all seynts in Kyddmistre. I bequethe to the hye Alter there 
4(1 I bequethe to my son Wyllm 40s in money and my best gowne Itm I 
bequethe to Johane my daughter a kovve i6s 8d my best fether bed my best 
cover with all that belongeth to the bed. I bequethe to Elnor my daughter 
a kowe my best pott and the taking of the house that I dwell in duryng the 
yeres of my Indentur, but I wyll that her mother have the halfe of the house 
and the Londs duryinge her wydowhood and if she mary Elnor to have the 
hole. Itm I bequeth to Thomas my sonn my second gowne and 6s 8d Itm 
I bequethe to John Sherman my servant a bastard lambe with all belongethe 
thereto. Itm I will that Alyce my wife have all such thyns as were pmysed 



THE BOROUGH. 69 



to her at her maryage as hyr wryttynge will playnely showe. Itm I bequethe 
to Elizabeth Hotton my sister my third gowne &c. 

" I make my executors 

" Peter Abraham. David Wacna. Thomas Dolyttyll. 

"/12 9 7i." 

Under Richard Duke of York and his son King Edward IV. 
the neighbouring town of Bewdley had made rapid strides in 
prosperity and population, chiefly owing to its position as the 
highest depot on the Severn whence the Bristol merchandise 
could be conveyed to the midland and northern counties. Its 
important bridge, its beneficent charter, its royal palace, its 
Court of the Marches, its sanctuary, its abundance of timber, 
its oak bark and tanneries, its salmon fisheries, its troops of 
pack horses, its numerous trows — all these, combined with the 
skill and enterprise of its inhabitants, had enabled it by the 
beginning of the Tudor period to surpass its more ancient 
neighbour both in numbers and wealth. A long rivalry sprang 
up between these towns, separated from each other by only 
two miles — a rivalry which only ceased within the last genera- 
tion. The feud rose to such a pitch in 1494 that Arthur Prince 
of Wales and his Council of the Marches were obliged to 
intervene, and the following ordinances were made between the 
inhabitants of the town of Bewdeley and the inhabitants of 
the town of Kiddermyster. (Blakeivay MSS.) : — 

" It is divised, ordayned, and determined, att the Cittie of Hereford by 
the Counsaille of Prince Arthure the first begotten son of our said Sovereigne 
Lord, for a finall concord, love, peace and amytie from hensforth to be had 
bytwene all th' inh'itants and resiants of the Towne of Bewdeley on the one 
part and all th' inh'itants and resiants of the Towne of Kiddermyster on th' 
other ptie that they and every one of them shall obey observe fulfill and 
kepe the Articles hereafter ensuing. In eschuyng all maner gruggs debats, 
variances or discords, that now been, or that hereafter might happen to be 
between them for any old or new matters— First &c. . . item &c. . . . 
It is by the said Counsell ordeyned and deterrayned that if hereafter shall 
happen anie new grugg or variaunce to be betweene the inh'itants of the said 
townes, that then they, nor anie of them, take upon them to justify or avenge 
their^said quarrels, but alwaies from tyme to tyme when and as often as the 
cause shall so require, come and resort unto the sayd Prynce and his Coun- 
sell, ther to show the causes of the same variaunces, and to abide, obei and 
fulfill the direction and determinacioun at all seasons that shal be therein 
taken by the said Prince and his Counsell. — In witness whereof and of all 



70 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



the p'misses the said Prince hath hereunto putt his signett, the right reverend 

Father in God the Bishop of Ely, president of his Counsaill with other of the 

same Counsaill, have subscribed and put to their hands the dale and yeare 

before rehearsed. 

" Jo. Ely R. Powes R. Croft 

" RoBT. Frost T. Poyntz Newton." 

John Leland visited the town about 1539, and has left us this 
description of it : — 

" Entringe into the Towne of Kidderminster, a Markett Towne in Woycester- 
shire I passed over by a Faubourge, and soe over a Bridge of 2 or 3 Arches 
upon Stower River. The head of this River is about the pooles of the late 
Priory of Halesowen a 6 miles of. 

" The fayre and chiefe Part of Kidderminster is on the left Ripe of Stower 
standinge on an hilly Piece of Ground. There is a pretty Crosse environed 
with 6 Pillars about and Arches of Stone, with the 7th Pillar in the middle 
to bear up the Fornix. It is in the Markett Place. 

" The Church is very fair, and one . . . Coxye a Knight al richly buried 
there in the Quire. This Towne standeth most by cloathinge. In tymes past 
this Town belonged to the Bisetts ancient Gentlemen. After It came to the 3 
Heires Generall of Bisctt, whereof one being a Lazer builded an Hospitall at 
Maiden Bradley in Wiltshire to a Priory of Chanons. She gave her part here 
in pios usits, and the Parsonage of Kidderminster was impropriate to Maiden 
Bradley. The other 2 Partes came to the Lord Abergavenny, and in that 
family it yet remaineth. 

" Dowr alias Stoiir Ryver — goethe to Stiirton Castle — Thens to Kidoiir- 
Mynstre, a good Market Towne, and runnethe throughe the mydle of it, and 
at Rages, drownythe a Pece of it. In Kidourminstre is but one Churche, but 
it is large. The Personage was impropriate to the Chanons of Mayden 
Bradley in Wiltshire. A little benethe Kidour is a fayre manor place on Stour 
caulyd Candalewel. It was the Coxeyes, and now It longethe to the Winters 
men of fayre Lande." 

In the same year (1539) in which Leland paid his visit to the 
town, the parish scribe was beginning to chronicle that most 
reliable source of all our local and family history for the past 
350 years — the register of the old church. In this, with only a 
few short omissions, are recorded all the baptisms, marriages, 
and deaths which took place in the parish from that time to the 
present. Few places possess such a complete record, and if this 
precious heritage could be printed in its entirety the work would 
be most valuable. In the appendix will be found a list of all 
the family names which appear from 1539 to 1565, with the date 



THE BOROUGH. 



71 



... 41 


... 49 


... 78 


100 


... 128 


... 142 


... 207 


... 251 



when each name first occurs. The number of separate surnames 
is 283, and this coincides in a remarkable manner with Bishop 
Sandys' answer to the Privy Council (5 Eliz., A.D. 1563), 
wherein he stated that Kidderminster contained 260 families 
and Mytton Chapel 23. Of course, in some cases there would 
be more than one family of the same name, whereas others 
would be strangers, like John a Combe of Stratford, who came 
here to be married. From these figures, the only reliable ones 
for enumeration since A.D. 1086, it is computed that the popu- 
lation at this time was 1125. The average of burials from 

1564 to 1585 amounts to 

1598 to 1617 

1642 to 1651 ,, 

1674 to 1697 

1 72 1 to 1750 ,, 

1 75 1 to 1760 ,, 

1771 to 1773 

In 1793 „ 

In 1776 Bishop North reported Kidderminster as containing 
1600 families. In 1793 the population was found to be 6199. 
For the figures from 1801 and upwards we shall be able here- 
after to make use of the accurate census returns. 

Up to 1752 there was no fixed formula for the registration, 
so from time to time many curious entries occur throwing light 
on the moral, social, and religious life of our forefathers, and of 
these some specimens are also to be given. The following 
callings were exercised in the town between 1540 and 1655 : — 
Weaver, millner (miller), corveser (shoemaker), haberdasher, 
saddler, fuller, sawyer, wiredrawer, cutler, mercer, dyer, tailor, 
fletcher (arrow-maker), barber, surgeon, sherman, tanner, 
glover, capper, baker, millwright, jockey, butcher, singer, free- 
mason, currier, mountebank, bellman, clothworker, " doctoure 
of Phissicke," apothecary, schoolmaster, vicar, deacon, minister, 
knight, esquire, soldier, " professed doctor," ragman, grinder, 
spooler, papermaker, &c. The inns mentioned are the Crown, 
Bull, Talbot, Angel, and Bell. 

The frequent recurrence of the " sickness," with its terrible 
lists of victims, notably in 1604, 1637, 1727, 1728, 1729, shows 



73 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

the significance of the prayer, " In the time of any common 
Plague or Sickness," which we find in our Prayer Book. 

In 1635, Feb. 16, John Savage, Sheriff of Worcester, states 
his accounts concerning ship money. The county was assessed 
at ;^400o, of which Worcester city was to pay ;^266, Evesham 
;£8^, Bewdley ;^7o, Droitwich ;^7o, Kidderminster ^30, and the 
clergy £110 i8s. Sd., the residue falling upon the county. 

In the Exchequer Decree Book of Charles I., No. 12, fol. 230, 
is the record of an action brought by Sir Henry Nevill, kt., 
Lord Bergavenny, 31 Oct., 1631, against John Dawke, John 
Pearsall, and others, touching the right of toll and profits of 
fairs and markets in the town of Kidderminster, wherein 
Edward Broad, of Dunclent, testified that his Lordship's 
ancestors had enjoyed the said profits. Also that Sir Edward 
Blount, kt., to whom the manor had been let for the term of 
one or more lives, had given the toll corn to his servant, John 
Nash, who had quietly enjoyed the same above ten years, and 
that upon the death of Nash the defendants had gathered the 
toll by some agreement with Sir Edward Blount. The Bailiff 
and Burgesses pleaded only prescription, and confessed that 
they were no corporation. This confession seems to have been 
felt as a humiliating one, for very soon afterwards (Feb. 18, 
1632-) the Burgesses presented a petition to King Charles I. for 
a confirmation of their privileges and a new charter. (Hist. 
MSS. Reports, iii., 191.) The matter was referred to Noy, the 
Attorney-General, and upon his report he was ordered to pre- 
pare a grant of incorporation. On 1634, Jan. 30, the King 
ordered that the charter should pass as thus prepared by Noy. 
It was dated 4 August, 1636, and is enrolled in Patent Roll, 
Chas. I., pt. 2. This charter, as transcribed by Mr. de Gray 
Birch, fills 52 pages, and we can only give a brief outline of its 
chief provisions : — 

" Charles by the Grace of God King of England &c. 

" To all to whom the present letters shall come greeting. Whereas the 
Borough of Kidderminster is an ancient Borough and of great commerce for 
the working and manufacture of cloths and of other merchandize of divers 
kinds, and by reason thereof and by the confluence of many thither daily it 
is very populous, the upright men of which Borough indeed have for a long 



THE BOROUGH. 73 



time had, used and enjoyed divers Liberties, Franchises, immunities, exemp- 
tions, customs, pre-eminences and privileges by pretext alone of divers 
prescriptions uses and customs in the same Borough anciently used, as well 
in the time of our very dear late Father James of blessed memory, as in the 
times of our most illustrious progenitors lately Kings and Queens of this 
kingdom of England ; and whereas our beloved subjects now inhabitants of 
the Borough aforesaid have most humbly besought us . . . that we 
would create the upright men inhabitants therein into one body corporate 
and politic, and grant such liberties ... as shall be most expedient for 
the public good and usefulness of the said Borough and country adjacent. 
. We therefore desiring the amendment and usefulness of the said 
Borough . . . and that that Borough for perpetual time to come may be 
a Borough of peace and quiet, and that deeds of justice and good rule therein 
be better kept and done . . . We do ordain that the same be and 
remain for perpetual time to come a free Borough (liber Bitvgus) of itself, and 
that the upright men and inhabitants shall for ever hereafter be one body 
corporate in deed fact and name by the name of the Bailiff and Burgesses of 
the Borough of Kidderminster . . . and able to possess lands, tene- 
ments, meadows, feedings, pastures, liberties, franchises, jurisdictions, also 
goods and chattels and all other things whatsoever . . . and to plead 
and be impleaded in courts of law . . . and have a common seal. . . 
There shall be one Bailiff and 12 upright Burgesses called Capital Bur- 
gesses to form the Common Council of the same Borough ... to have 
power of assembling themselves, and making from time to time such laws, 
statutes, rights, ordinances and constitutions as to them or the greater part of 
them shall seem to be good, wholesome, honest and necessary for the good rule 
and government of the Bailiff and Burgesses and of all and singular the 
officers, ministers, artificers, inhabitants and residents of the Borough, and 
to levy reasonable sums of money upon the inhabitants for the repair and 
maintenance of the bridges, streets, pavements, ways, paths and other 
passages. . . . Also to ordain pains, punishments and penalties, either 
by imprisonment of the body or by fines against offenders, and levy the same 
fines by distress or taking of beasts of burden, goods and chattels of every 
delinquent. . . . And we do nominate our beloved John Freeston to be 
the first and modern Bailiff of the Borough . . . and our beloved John 
Radford, Richard Potter, William Best, John Pearsall, Elias Artch, William 
Yates, Robert Greene, John Doolittle, Simon Potter, William Syner, Simon 
Doolittle and William Browne to be the first and modern Capital Burgesses 
to be continued in the same office during their natural lives, unless they be 
removed for badly behaving themselves. . . . Also they shall have the 
power of electing yearly upon every Monday after the feast of St. Michael 
one of the Capital Burgesses who shall be the Bailiff of the Borough for one 
whole year, . . . And if one of the Capital Burgesses dies or is removed 
then the surviving Capital Burgesses and Bailiff shall fill up the place, and 
he who is thus elected may have the same office during his natural life and 
good behaviour. . . . And further we do grant to the Bailiff' and Bur- 
gesses that they may elect one discreet man who shall be called the Capital 
J 



74 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Steward of the Borough, and we do appoint our beloved subject a.nd Serjeant 
Ralph Clare of Cawdwell, Knight of the Order of the Bath, to be the first 
and modern Steward for the duration of his life. And they shall have one 
discreet and fitting man, learned in the laws of England, who shall be Under 
Steward of the Borough, and we have nominated our beloved John Wyld 
Esquire to be the first Under Steward. And all the Officers appointed by 
virtue of these presents shall be sworn, and we do give authority to our 
beloved Edward Sebright, Knight and Baronet, Francis Lacon, Knight, 
Walter Blunt and John Wyld or two or more of them of administering an 
oath to them upon God's Holy Gospels. . . . And we do grant to the 
Bailiff and Burgesses the right of appointing twenty-five men of the more 
honest and upright inhabitants residing within the Borough who shall be 
called Assistants of the Bailiff and Chief Burgesses in all affairs which con- 
cern the said Borough . . . and they may within a month of Easter 
appoint certain Burgesses to be Constables for one whole year. . . . And 
farther for the better education and instruction of the children and youths 
within the Borough aforesaid in good arts, doctrine, virtue, and erudition, to 
be for ever educated and trained, of our more abundant special grace we 
have granted and ordained that from henceforth for ever there may be one 
Grammar School which shall be called the Free Grammar School of Charles 
King of England in Kidderminster . . . and that the aforesaid school 
may be of one Master and one Usher (Siibpedagogus or Hypodidascalus ) . . . 
and that the Ordinary of the Diocese of Worcester and all ordinaries and 
their successors hereafter, and the Bailiff and Burgesses for the time being 
shall be called Governors of the goods, possessions and revenues of the 
Grammar School of King Charles . . . and they shall be one body cor- 
porate and politic in deed fact and name ... to have perpetual succes- 
sion . . . and from henceforth for ever they may have a common Seal, 
and it shall be lawful for them to make anew that Seal at their pleasure . . . 
and the Governors shall be persons fit and in law capable to have and 
possess goods and chattels, manors, lands, tenements, meadows, feedings, 
pastures, revenues, rents, services, Rectories, tithes and other possessions 
for the sustaining of the said School . . . and to plead and be impleaded 
before our Justices . . . and they may elect and appoint one upright 
erudite and God fearing man to be the Master and one other discreet and 
fit man to be Under-Master of the same School. . . . And also we give 
and grant to any of our subjects free and lawful power and authority that 
they may give grant and bequeath manors, messuages, lands, tenements, 
woodland, tithes and rents to the Governors of the Grammar School of King 
Charles and their successors. . . . And further we grant that the Bailiff, 
and the preceding Bailiff for the past year, and the Under Steward of the 
Borough for the time being, shall henceforth for ever be the Justices of us 
our heirs and successors for keeping the peace within the Borough aforesaid, 
and for executing the Statutes made for Vagabonds, Artificers and Labourers, 
and for weights and measures. Provided that they shall not determine of 
any murder or felony or of any other matter touching loss of life or limbs 
within the Borough. . . . Saving however all rights and jurisdictions to 



THE BOROUGH. 75 



Henry Lord Abergavenny and to the aforesaid Ralph Clare and to all others 
the Lords of the Manor Town or Borough of Kidderminster and their heirs, 
and all other rights belonging to their courts leet and views of frank- 
pledge. . . . 

" And we do grant to the Bailiff and Burgesses all the manors, messuages, 
lands, tenements, fairs, holidays and markets, which anciently they held and 
enjoyed for corn, grain, cattle and animals, and all other things, together 
with tolls, toUages, customs, stallage, pickage, and all other emoluments 
belonging to the same fairs holidays and markets, privileges, and immunities 
which the Burgesses and Inhabitants of Kidderminster heretofore lawfully 
enjoyed ... by reason of any Charters or Letters Patent heretofore 
granted by our ancestors ; although they may have been not used or badly 
used ; and although they may have been forfeited or lost. Being unwilling 
that the Bailiff Burgesses and Inhabitants should henceforth be molested, 
grieved, or in any manner attacked or disturbed by reason of the premises 
by us or any whomsoever the Justices, Sheriffs, Escheators, Coroners, 
Bailiffs or Ministers of us our heirs or Successors. Commanding by these 
presents the Treasurer, Chancellor and Barons of our Exchequer, the 
Justices, the Attorney and Solicitor General of us our heirs and successors 
. . . that they shall not cause any writ or summons of Quo Warranto or 
any writs or processes against the aforesaid Bailiff and Burgesses . . . 
before the completion of these presents. ... In witness whereof these 
our Letters we have caused to be made Patent. 

" Witness me myself at Banbury, on the fourth day of August in the 
twelfth year of our Reign. 

" By writ of Privy Seal, 

" WOLSELEY." 

In accordance with this charter, on Dec. 16, 1640, the BaiHff 
and Capital Burgesses assembled at the " Court-house " and 
drew up by-laws and ordinances for the good government of 
the borough. If any one of the Twelve or Five and Twenty 
neglected, without sufficient excuse, to answer the Bailifl's 
summons to a consultation about the town matters he was to 
pay ^s. If any difference of opinion arose the puisne of the 25 
was first to deliver his opinion, and then each one in ascending 
order of seniority, concluding with the Bailiff, after which a 
vote was to be taken without any disturbance or interruption. 
Before the next S. Thomas's-day each of the Twelve and 
Twenty-five was to provide himself with a comely and decent 
black suit, and a comely and decent Townsman's gown or black 
cloak to be worn upon Sundays and other festival days and all 
solemn meetings of the Corporation, under a penalty of i2d. for 



76 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

each day's neglect. On Sabbath days and festivals the Twelve 
and Twenty-five, in their said comely gowns, must attend the 
Bailiff from church under penalty of 55. 

The Bailiff and Justice were not at any time during their 
tenure of office to appear in the streets of the town without a 
comely and decent gown, cloak, or coat : forfeit 55. 

Fines were imposed upon all who refused to accept any 
offices to which they were chosen, viz. — Bailiff", ;i<fio ; Capital 
Burgess, £5 ; the Twenty-five, £2 los. Every burgess and 
inhabitant must help the Bailiff" and Constables in case of 
affrays, and to this end must keep in his house or shop, 
conveniently and readily prepared, one staff, club, bill, or 
halbert, upon pain of 105. for every month that it is deficient. 
Innkeepers must not allow any persons to use unlawful games 
in their houses, nor to sit tippling on Sundays or holidays or 
other time, by day or by night, excepting travellers only. 
Immediately after the beginning of the 2nd Lesson on Sunday 
at morning and evening prayers the Churchwardens and Con- 
stables must go out of church and make diligent search into all 
taverns and ale-houses. If they find there householders and 
men of worth they are to take special notice of them, and 
present them to the ordinary ; but if they be idle and vagrant 
persons, or of no worth and ability, they shall arrest them and 
bring them before the Bailiff to receive condign punishment. 
If any person remove soil, muck, or compost from his stables 
and leave it in the streets he must clear it away within six days 
or be fined i2d. a day. Every inhabitant must cause the street 
before his house to be made clean on Saturday afternoons 
before sunset, on pain of i2d. No one might exercise any 
trade, mystery, or occupation without special consent of the 
Bailiff and Burgesses, unless he were a Burgess or had served 
seven years' apprenticeship in the town : the penalty was 105. 
for every market day. A fine of 205. was incurred by anyone 
who entertained a stranger within his house longer than six 
days, unless he had licence beforehand from the Bailiff. 
Every Capital Burgess and innkeeper was required to set a 
lanthorn with a burning candle therein at his house door on 
every dark night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. from Nov. i to the 



THE BOROUGH. 



Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Saint Mary 
yearly : penalty /[d. each night. 

On nth April, 1655, it was further ordered that no inhabi- 
tants should suffer their swine to go abroad without a keeper, 
from St. Andrew's-day until one of the town fields was turned 
open : penalty j\.d. each swine. 

When the Great Rebellion broke out Lord Wharton's and 
Lord Brooke's regiments held Kidderminster for the Parlia- 
ment, while Bewdley was garrisoned for the King under the 
command of Sir Thomas Lyttelton. In the Paston Letters 
(Report VIL, p. 530) we meet with the following details : — 

" 1642 Oct. 19 Sub node, to Sir Wm. Paston kt. at Norwich. On Tuesday 
letters came from my Lord Wharton that he had made a soldier-like retreat 
from Kidderminster excusing his not fighting with Prince Rupert in regard 
of the inequallity of numbers ; but it is commonly and confidently reported 
by others that for haste and fear he left some waggons and 3 or 4 pieces of 
ordnance behind him. There came last night from Worcester 3,200 weight 
of plate." 

This hasty retreat will perhaps accoimt for an entry in the 
registers here : — " 1642 Oct. 14 buried one Thomas Kinge a 
pliament souldier that brake his necke fallinge downe the rocke 
towards Curstfield into the hoUowway that leads to Beawdley." 
Prince Rupert's presence in Bewdley is shown in the Corpora- 
tion records by a present made to him there of a hogshead of 
claret, costing £^ los. In 1643 three Parliament " souldiers " 
were buried at Kidderminster. Another was slain at Caldwell on 
March the nth, 1645, and on July i a w^oman was buried 
" wounded at the battle in Leicestershire." Sir Thomas Aston 
had an outpost at Trimpley, perhaps on the Wars-hill camp : 
one of his soldiers was slain Nov. 8, 1645 ; another died 
there in Jan., 1649. A few days after the fight at Trimpley two 
soldiers under Captain Dungham were killed in the town. In 
the following March Captain Charles Dungham and one of his 
soldiers were killed here on the same da}^ On April igth, 1646, 
a soldier was buried here " slaine at the skirmish at Worcester." 

In the Flist. MSS. Reports is a letter from Colonel Frazer, 
Stourbridge, June 6, 1644, offering to march between Worcester 
and Easum (Evesham) " where there is no other wav for his 



78 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Ma^'s to passe to Prince Rupert but through Worcester and soe 
to Shrewebery. No intelligence yet, but last night there 
appeared at Kittermaister at 12 of the clocke at night a partie 
of 120 horse w'^'^ threatened the inhabitants to ruine them if they 
sent any provisions to your Lordship's armie." On June 7th, 
1644, an order was issued to all commanders, &c., in the service 
of the King and Parliament, to forbeare to plunder the cloth in 
the fulling mills in Kidderminster and Hartlebury belonging to 
Robert Willmott, treasurer to the committee for the county of 
Stafford. 

After the battle of Worcester, Sept. 3, 1651, Charles II. is 
said to have galloped along Chester Lane, in Kidderminster, on 
his way to Boscobel. Many of his fugitive soldiers passed 
through the town. Richard Baxter says : — 

" Kidderminster being but 11 miles from Worcester the flying army past 
some of them thro' the town and some by it. I was newly gone to bed when 
the noise of the flying horse acquainted us with the overthrow : and a piece 
of one of Cromwell's troops that guarded Bewdley Bridge, having tidings 
of it came into our streets, and stood in the open market place before my 
door, to surprise those that past by. And so when many hundreds of the 
flying army came together, when the 30 troopers cried Stand and fired at 
them, they either hasted away or cried quarter, not knowing in the dark 
what number it was that charged. And so, as many were taken there as so 
few men could lay hold on, and till midnight the bullets flying towards my 
door and windows, and the sorrowful fugitives hasting by for their lives, did 
tell me the calami tousness of war." 

In 1665, March 6, coals were first brought to Kidderminster 
from Stourbridge by water. (Parish Registers.) 

The Registers make mention of an earthquake here between 
7 and 8 o'clock at night on Jan. 4, 1671. 

In the 17th century there was a dearth of halfpence and 
farthings in the monetary circulation of the country, so many 
local tradesmen supplied the demand from dies of their own. 
In this county Worcester issued 48 varieties, Evesham 19, 
Kidderminster 17, Bewdley 11. From time to time these coins 
still turn up, and a list of them taken from Mr. Cotton's work 
may be of interest. Many of them have reference to the special 
trade of the town ; — 



THE BOROUGH. 79 



X 



1. O. AT . THE . Raven . in = A raven. 

R. KIDDERMVNSTER . l652 = R. M. B. 

2. O. THOMAS . BALAMEY . iN=The Weavers' Arms T. M. B. 

R. KIDDERMINSTER . l667=HIS HALF PENY. 

The Weavers' Arms are : On a chevron between three 
leopards' faces, as many roses. 

3. O. FRANCES . CARTER=A pair of shears. 

R. IN . KITTERMINSTER=F. M. C. 

4. O. EDWARD . CHAMBERLIN = HIS HALF PENY. 
R. IN KIDDERMINSTER=E. A. C. 

5. O. EDWARD cHAMBERLiN^A man making candles. 

R. OF . KEDERMINSTER^E. A. C. 

6. O. WILLIAM . MOVNTFORD = A tankard. W. M. 

R. IN. KIDDERMINSTER . l665 — HIS HALF PENY. 

7. O. LAWRENCE . PEARSALL = Arms : St. George's Cross, 

in the first quarter a lion's head erased. 

R. IN . KIDDERMINSTER = HIS HALF PENY. 

8. O. SIMON . PITT . 1670 = HIS FARTHING. 
R. IN . KIDERMINSTER=S. E. P. 

g. O. WILL PRiTTY MERCER = A pair of scales. 

R. IN KITTERM STER 57 = W. P. 

10. O. RICH . RADFORD . HIS . HF . PENY = The Weavcrs' Arms. 
R. OF . KIDDERMINSTER . i666==The Merchant Tailors' Arms. 

The Merchant Tailors' Arms are : A tent between two 
robes, on a chief a lion passant gardant. 

11. O. EDMVND & WILLIAM . RE ADE = The Weavers' Arms. 

R. IN . KEDERMINSTER . l666 = THEIR HALF PENY. 

12. O. lOHN . ROWDEN . IN = A nag's head. 

R. KIDDERMINSTER . 1656 = !. A. R. 

13. O. NEVIL . SIMMONS . BOOKSELR = IN KIDDER MINSTER. 

R. EDWARD . BVTLER . MERCER . l663=THEIRE HALF PENY. 

14. O. THO : SADLER . HIS HALF . PENY=The Tallow 

Chandlers' Arms. 

R. IN . KIDDERMINSTER . l664 = T. A. S. 

The Tallow Chandlers' Arms are Per fess and per pale, 
three doves, each holding an olive branch. 

15. O. WALTER . THATCHER = A shuttle. 

R. IN . KIDDERMINSTER = HIS HALF PENY . 1C7O. 



86 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

In 1745 a band of volunteers was enrolled here to oppose the 
invasion of the "Young Pretender." Tradition says that they 
had set out on the march for Derby, and were a mile or two 
from the town when a woman in a plaid suddenly appeared at a 
bend in the road, and mistaking her for one of Prince Charlie's 
advanced guard, the volunteers were so alarmed that they 
hastily turned back and came home again ! 

In 1753 the population of the town had increased so much 
that Lord Foley laid out fresh streets and built 200 new houses. 
At this time the map was prepared by John Doharty, showing 
the new streets as planned. 

John Howard, the famous Bedfordshire philanthropist, paid 
a visit to Kidderminster gaol. There were two rooms, called 
dungeons, about loft. by 6ft., under the market house, down a 
flight of six steps. There was neither court, water, nor sewer. 
The town -crier was the keeper, with an allowance of a shilling 
a month for attendance, and a shilling a month for straw for the 
prisoners' beds ! 

In 12 Geo. III. (1772), cap. 66, an Act was passed for the 
more easy and speedy recovery of small debts within the 
borough and foreign of Kidderminster : — 

" Whereas in the Borough and Foreign of Kidderminster there is carried 
on a large and extensive Manufactory, which employs several thousand 
People, many of whom contract Small Debts, which in the whole amount 
yearly to a great Sum of Money ; and although such Debtors are well able 
to pay their respective Debts, yet they often refuse to do so, presuming on 
the Discouragements their Creditors lie under from the great Expence they 
are unavoidably put unto, and the Delays they meet with in suing for the 
same . . . be it enacted that the Bailiff, Recorder, High Steward, Lord 
of the Manor, Justice, Aldermen, and Common Council for the Time being 
and the Persons herein-after named, residing or having Estates within the 
Parish of Kidderminster aforesaid, are hereby declared and appointed 
Commissioners to hear and determine all such Causes and Matters of Debt : 

Rev. Robert Job Charl- John Folliott William Wallis 

ton LL.D William Williams Joseph Callow 

Abraham Turner Thomas Newnham Daniel Best 

James Johnstone M.D. William Wheeler Richard Colley 

Adam Hough Rev. Job Orton John Butler 

Rev. John Martin Joseph Harper Gregory Watkins 

Francis Clare Rev. Benjamin Fawcett Francis Best 




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THE BOROUGH. 



8i 



John Watson 
Pochin Lister 
John Jefferyes 
Joseph Austin 
Joseph Lea 
Matthew Jefferyes 
Timothy Dobson 
Josiah Lea 
William Lea 
John Cowper 
William Best 
William Roberts 
Edward Crane 
Christopher Hunt 
Samuel Crane 
Serjeant Crane 
John Crane 
William Yate 
Thomas Crane 
William Doelittle 
Nicholas Pearsall 
George Boraston 
Benjamin Pearce 
Nicholas Pearsall, jun. 
John Bracknell 
John Spencer (Hurcott) 
Timothy Brookes 
Thomas Woodward 
John Mole 
Matthew Wilson 
John White 
Andrew Cooper 
John Cooper 
Thomas Cooper 
Joseph White 
Joseph Patrick 



John Spencer 
Benjamin Cottrell 
Benjamin Lea 
Samuel Lea 
John Ingram 
Francis Lea 
Rev. Thomas Wiggan 
William Watson 
Ralph Powell 
Henry Darby 
John Hinton 
James Hilman 
Samuel Harris 
Stephen Miles 
Samuel Stokes 
John Davies 
John Cartwright 
Stephen Miles, jun. 
John Cole 
Thomas Wright 
Henry Chellingworth 
Joseph Hancocks 
Joseph Baker 
Thomas Jones 
Henry Bird 
John Newcomb 
John Read 
Joseph Child 
William Taylor 
Joseph Baker, jun. 
Josiah Patrick. 
George Hallen 
Abraham Thomas 
John Pearsall 
John Acton 
Henry Perrins 



Matthew Thomas 
Jeffrey Jolly 
Thomas Fry 
William Banks 
Francis Hornblower 
John Broom, jun. 
Joseph Broom 
Samuel Crane 
Edward Griffiths 
John Griffiths 
John Richardson 
John Stringer 
Thomas Richardson 
Joseph Orton 
Thomas Jones 
Serjeant Hornblower 
Benjamin Hanbury 
William Hornblower 
Richard Colley, jun. 
Ale.xander P'atrick 
Jacob Esthope 
John Yearsley 
Samuel Talbot 
Thomas Beck 
Edward Bellamy 
Samuel Hill 
Nicholas Penn 
John Steynor, jun. 
Henry Penn 
Richard Barford 
Samuel Southall 
Samuel Evans 
John Pearsall, jun. 
Henry Matthews 
John Wallis 
James Wynde 



" Three or more are authorised to meet once in every fortnight by the 
name and stile of the Court of Requests for the Borough and Foreign of 
Kidderminster. Thomas Jacob White (Gentleman is appointed Clerk to the 
Court and John Steynor jun. Beadle. Persons may sue for Debts under 40s. 
Nothing in this Act shall prejudice the Jurisdiction of an Ancient Court 
Baron held by the Lord of the Manor of the Borough of Kidderminster and 
his Predecessors, Time immemorial, within the e-aid Borough." 

The patriotic spirit of the Burgesses was displayed in 1798 
by the eiuohiuuL of a strong baiiJ of \'oluntjcis uiuler Captain 



82 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Boycott : they were disbanded in 1825. The Volunteer move- 
ment was again taken up here in 1859, and there are tjow 280 
men in the ranks, under the command of Col. \V. H. Talbot, 
Lieut. -Col. R. T. Watson, Majors J. Morton and J. R. Good- 
win, Capt. J. Watson, and Lieuts. Dixon, Mossop, Thursfield, 
Batten, and E. Talbot. 

In 1812 wheat Avas 185. and 205. a bushel, ^^500 \.'as sub- 
scribed in the town to buy potatoes for the poor. 

In 18 1 3 an Act was passed for paving, cleansing, lighting, 
and watching the town. In 1818 gas w^as introduced. In 1821, 
after Queen Caroline's acquittal, 3000 weavers subscribed is. 
each, and presented her with a carpet 10 yards square. In 
1825 a public meeting was held to pass a vote of confidence in 
Wakeman and Turner's Bank. A new charter was granted to 
the town by George IV. in 1827. In 1828 there were serious 
riots, and damage to the amount of ;^30oo was done before the 
14th Dragoons appeared on the scene. The winciows of Messrs. 
Cooper, Simcox Lea, Best, Brinton, Kallen, and Talbot, arid of 
the Town Hall and Black Horse, were broken. In 1832 the 
Reform Bill re-allotted a Member of Parliament to the town. 

Tlie Kiddermmster Messenger was started on Juty 8, 1036, by 
Mr. Arthur Brough. The title was afterwards changed to Ten 
Toivns Messenger. The paper was discontinued 30 Jime, 1849, 
and revived as the Sn:i in 1876. It advocates the Conser- 
vative side in politics, and is now owned by Mr. Joseph Mears. 
The Shuttle was started as the Radical organ in 1870, with 
Mr. E. Parry as editor and proprietor. It gives special promi- 
nence to all matters connected with the carpet trade. The 
Kidderminster Times is neutral in politics, and is only partly 
printed in the town. 

By the Municipal Corporations Act, passed in 1835, the title 
of Bailiff was changed to Mayor, and the Council was to be 
elected by the popular voice. There are 18 Councillors, who 
hold office for three years each. TJie Councillors elect six 
Aldermen, who sit for six years. Previous to 1887 there were 
two wards— North and South. There are now six wards, each 
of which chooses one Councillor yearly. 



THE BOROUGH. 83 



The old Town Hall, which had been used for municipal pur- 
poses for some centuries, stood at the bottom of High Street, 
and the site is now occupied by a cab stand. The spacious 
and convenient new Hall was opened 19th Jan., 1877. It stands 
on the site of the old vicarage house, and Avas designed hy Mr. 
J. T. Meredith. The older borough archives are carefully 
preserved in a glass case in the " Maj'or's parlour." On the 
staircase are portraits of William Butler Best, William Boy- 
cott, and Thomas Tempest-Radford. The silver-gilt " loving 
cup " is a very handsome specimen of Elizabethan work, 
standing with cov^er nearly 2 feet high. The chief ornamenta- 
tion consists of arabesques of dolphins and shells in repoussee 
work. The H.M. is 1592, and the maker's monogram A.B. 
The inscription runs : — " Given formerly/) Thomas Jennens of 
Kitterminster and inlarged p his Granchild Thomas Jenens of 
the Ciity of London Grocer A° Dni. 1623." The arms are : A 
chevron between 3 gryphons' heads erased ; on a chief a lion passant. 
The original donor, Thomas Jennings, was probably church- 
warden in i^;53. In 1542 he married Agnes Benbowe. The 
grandson, Thomas Jennings, married Elizabeth Edgeley, of 
Park Attwood, in 1602. They are both mentioned as bene- 
factors on the boards in the chantry. The Mayor's chain and 
badge of office was presented to the borough in 1875, in the 
mayoralty of Daniel Wagstaff Goodwin. The names of the 
donors — former mayors of the town — are engraved on the links. 
A large shield in the centre bears the arms and motto of the 
borough, and there are also various emblems representing 
"Art" and "Industry." The massive silver gilt mace was 
presented by Mr. G. Holdsworth in the " Jubilee Year of Queen 
Victoria, 1887." The design is based upon that of the cup 
before-mentioned. The vase portion has in enamel a raised 
shield with the arms and motto of Kidderminster. 

The Corn Exchange and Music Hall were opened 4th Jan., 
1855. The Corporation Waterworks \/ere erected in 1872. 
The cemetery of 16 acres was opened June i, 1878. 

To do justice to the remarkable expansion of the town in the 
present century would require volumes, and such a task is 
beyond the scope of the present work. Two views of the town 



84 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



taken from the same spot (" The Copse ") in 1780 and i8go will 
show how the meadows by Stour-side have been covered with 
factories, and how the town has pushed its way outward and 
covered the surrounding hills. Lists of the Members of 
Parliament, census returns, and a few local statistics may be 
of interest, and with these we must conclude this long chapter. 



ELECTIONS 


OF 


MEMB 


ERS OF PARLIAMENT. 




(Electors : 1832— 


-390; 


1868 


2465 ; 1874—3365 ; 1889— 4184.) 




1832 — Dec. 






1862 




Godson Rd (L C ).. 




172 


White Hon. Luke (L.) . . . . 
Talbot John G. (C.) .. .. 


229 
2ig 


Phillips Geo. R. (L.) 




• 139 


1S35 — Jan. 






1865 




Phillips Geo. R. (L.) 


. . • 


• 197 


Grant Albert (C.) 


285 


Godson R. (L.C.).. 


.. . 


. 121 


White Hon. L. (L.) .. .. 


270 


1837— Aug. 






1868— Nov. 




Godson R. (L.C.) . . 




• 195 


Lea Thomas [l^.) 


1272 


Bagshaw John (L.) 


.. . 


• 157 


MakinsW. T. (C.) .. .. 


821 


184 1 — July 






1874— Feb. 




Godson R. (L.C.) . . 


. . 


. 212 


*Grant A. (C.) 


1509 


Ricardo Samson (L.) 




, . 200 


Lea Thos. (L.) 


1398 


1847 






1874— July 




Godson R. (L.C.) 






Fraser Sir W. A. (C.) .. .. 
LeaG. H. (L.) 


1651 
1318 


1849 






1880 — March 31 




Best John (P.) 




217 


jBrinton John (L.) 

Grant A. (C.) 


1795 
1472 


Gisborne T. (L.) . . 


.. , 


. . 200 


1852 






1880— May 7 




Lowe Robert (L.) . . 


• • 1 


, . 246 


Brinton John (L.) 




Best John (C ) 




IS2 






1857 






1885 




Lowe Rt. Hon. R. (L.) 




,. 234 


Brinton John (L.) 


2172 


Boycott W. (C.) .. 


., , 


.. 146 


Godson Aug. F. (C.) .. .. 


2024 


1859 — April 






1886 




Bristow Alf. R. (L.) 




.. 216 


Godson A. F. (C.) 


2081 


Huddleston John W. 


(C.) 


. . 207 


Blunt W. S. (G.L.) .. .. 


1796 



Void. 



t Accepted the Chiltern Hundreds. 



THE BOROUGH. 



85 





POPULATION. 




Date. 


Houses. 


Borough 


Foreign. 


Total. 


1793 • • • 


— 


6,199 


... 1519 ... 


7.718 


1801 . . . 


1295 ••• 


6,110 


. . . 1926 . . . . 


8,036 


1811 ... 


1606 


8,038 . 


... 19S7 .... 


10,025 


1821 ... 


— 


10,709 . 


. . . 2043 . . . . 


12,752 


1831 ... 


2768 . . . 


14,981 


... 2932 ... 


17.913 


1841 ... 


— 


17.500 


— 


— 


1851 ... 


— 


20,852 


— 


— 


1861 ... 


— 


15.399 


— 


— 


1871 ... 


— 


20,814 


— 


— 


1881 ... 


4468 . . . 


22,299 


. . . 5376 . • . 


27.675 



Stourport and Lower Mitton are not included in the above 
figures. The progress of Stourport and the foreign may be 
seen from the following table : — 



Houses. P°P"'^- 
tion. 

1831 .. Stourport,. 545 .. 2952 
1881 682 .. 3358 



Houses. Pf.P"'^- 

tion. 



1831 . . Foreign 
1881 .. 



591 
1022 



2932 
5376 






86 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



CHAPTER V. 



Zbc Church. 




HEARE should I begin," says Habingdon, " in 
thys faire churche but with the founder ihereof, 
who appearethe in the middest of the highe and 
stately East window of the Quyre consistinge 
of seaven panes, in a long robe uppon his knees 
offeringe in his hand the portrature of the 
churche to God : neyther are we ignorant of hys name beeinge 
Johannes Niger de Kidderminster." We have already twice 
met with the name of Niger (pp. 21, 22), the Latin form of Black 
or Blake, but the owners of the name were then in a condition 
of villenage. The architecture of the present chancel of the 
church (Middle Pointed) corresponds with the date of the con- 
secration of the greater altar by Walter de Maydeston, Bishop 
of Worcester (Reg., f. 29), 5th June, 1315. For his fee the 
Bishop received four marks in the pure currency. Within a 
few days of his visit here the Bishop consecrated the altar of 
Hadsor, and the churches and great altars at Kineton and 
Kinwarton. It is suggestive that the Rector of Kidder- 
minster from 1305 to 1 312 was Robert Niger or le Blake, and 
that the chancel — the gift of John Niger — was consecrated in 
1 315. Possibly the work was done by a relative as a memorial 
of the Rector. There were also peculiar circumstances in the 
appointment of Robert le Blake to the Rectory, leading to the 
conclusion that he may have been a man of wealth ; for when 
the monks presented him he was a layman, and after taking 
minor orders at Bredon on Dec. 19th, he was instituted Feb. 12, 
whilst still an acol3'te. At the Trinity ordination, 1306, he was 
advanced to the sub-diaconate with 68 others, and amonirst 



THE CHURCH. 87 



them \vere three more — two of them at least of noble families — 
who had been holding rectories whilst onl}- in minor orders, 
viz., Sir Roger Corbet, of Chaddesle}' Corbet, William de 
Dalby, of Atherstone, and Richard de Stafford, of Behi 
Bronghton. The Diocesan Register shows that Robert le Blake 
was further ordained Deacon in Worcester Cathedral ; and 
Priest at Hartlebury on the Sunday after the Feast of S. Lucy, 
1306. 

But there must have been a church here long before this. 
About 1 1 70 we find Robert of Hurcott in possession of the 
Rectory; and in 1256 Richard, i^wra/ Dean of Kidderminster, 
held his court at Broome, and gave a verdict in the suit between 
the Prior of Hales Owen and the Chaplain of Frankley. More- 
over, the church must have been a large and important one, for 
in 1303 William, Bishop of Worcester, held his Whitsuntide 
ordination in Kidderminster parish church, and ordained 29 
sub-deacons, 68 deacons, and 46 priests. Some of the sub- 
deacons were " villeins," who, by the Constitutions of Clarendon, 
could not take orders without their lord's consent, so we find 
appended to their names de precepto doinini. (Reg. Geynes, 
f. 38a.) 

There is nothing to guide us as to the date of the present 
nave and tower except the architecture. The fine old massive 
tower, 85 feet high, is a good specimen of the Third Pointed 
style, and was at first detached, but now occupies the western 
bay of the south aisle. The nave and aisles are rather late 
Third Pointed, measuring 84 feet by 62 feet, having six bays 
divided by channeled octagonal piers with stilted bases. On 
the north side are eleven square-headed clerestory windows of 
two lights ; and on the south are eight windows, the tower 
taking the place of the three others. In 1464 Bishop Carpenter 
granted forty days' indulgence to those who contributed to the 
building of the parish church of 5. James, near (juxia) Kidder- 
minster. This date would suit the architecture but not the 
dedication of the present church — unless, indeed, there was 
a re-dedication at the time of the erection of the nave. For only 
six years later we have an entry preserved in the I'.K.O, 
(Pardon Roll, 8 and 9 VA. \\ .. Ojj. nitinbiane 9) of a j^ardon 



88 A HISTORY GF KIDDERMINSTER. 



granted to " John Laweher of Kedermester clerk alias Sir John 
Lagher of Kedyrmynster clerk, alias Sir John Lagher perpetual 
chaplain of the Chapel of the Blessed Mary of Kedermynster 
within the churchyard of the parish church of All Saints of 
Kedyrmester &c. Feb. 5th, at Westminster." The various 
wills (see pp. 67, 68) refer to the church of All Saints, and it is 
thus designated in Doharty's map of 1753. In quite modern 
times the chantry of S. Mary appears to have superseded the 
ancient and proper dedication of the parish church. 

In 1850 a south aisle was added to the chancel of good 
Middle Pointed character, and divided from it by an arcade of 
three arches with clustered piers. In 1874 ^^ organ chamber 
was erected on the north side of the chancel, and the side 
galleries were removed. In Baxter's time there were five 
galleries, reduced to three in 1787 ; but by way of compensa- 
tion the church was beautified (?) by a flat plaster ceiling, 
which gave w-ay in 1850 to a panelled one. In 1887 a cloister 
was attached to the south side of the chancel in memory of the 
late Earl of Dudley, whose restoration of the chancel is thus 
recorded : — ■ " In gloriam et laudem DEI honoratissimus 
Gulielmus Baro Ward totum hunc Chorum Instrumentumque 
ejus reparavit refecit et ornavit anno Incarnationis Dni 
MDCCCXLVII. Tua sunt omnia et quae de manu tua 
accepimus dedimus Tibi." 

Previous to 1850 the place of the east window was occupied 
by a copy of Raphael's cartoon of the Stoning of S. Stephen, 
which had been presented by Dr. Butt. The new east window 
is of six lights, and this, together with the other chancel 
windows, and the large Third Pointed west window, is filled 
with stained glass by O'Connor. The westernmost window of 
the north side of the nave, representing " Faith, Hope, and 
Charity," was given in i88g by Mr. T. S. Bucknall m memory 
of his father and mother. The east window of the chancel aisle 
was presented by those wdio had been ordained " Deacons " of 
the church. 

In 1880, June 6th, a new reredos was unveiled, from the 
design of Mr. Hopkins. It extends the whole length of the 
east window, and is executed in alabaster. The central subject 



OKX 




ii 



^r^^,..-^" ■ '^-i 



■ -** 



4 




.^.^ ■ / 



ALL SALNTS' CHURCH, KH)DEKM1NSTE1<, 1890. 
(View of Tower fyom the Si'ulli-Iuist.J 



I 




o 

X 






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D 
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u 

in 

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C/5 






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X ^ 






THE CHURCH. 8g 



is the Lord's Supper in alto-relievo, and in compartments on 
either side are figures of Moses and Elijah. In the chancel are 
three sedilia and an aumbry. A beautiful stone pulpit, having 
niches with figures of our Lord and SS. Peter, Paul, and John 
the Baptist, replaces a wooden Jacobean one, presented to the 
church in 1621 by Mrs. Alice Dawkes, and now preserved at 
the " New Meeting." The octagonal font is modern : on its 
sides are sacred symbols — Christ the Good Shepherd, Christ 
blessing little children, the Ark, the Dove, and the Lily. 
Looking eastward the view is very impressive, showing an 
uninterrupted space of 147 feet. The external length of the 
building, including vestry and chantry, is 215 feet. 



The value of the benefice in 1288 was ^20 13s. 4^. ; in 1334, 
£2S IS. 8d. ; in 1536, ;^3o 155. y^. ; and in 1890, ^1034 (gross) 
and ;^322 (nett). In 1774 an Act of Enclosure was passed 
whereby the Vicar was allowed 150 acres on Kidderminster 
Common in lieu of the small tithes east of Stour. 



THE BELLS. 

There is a melodious peal of eight bells, and on these, with 
four additional bells presented by the Freemasons in 1882, 
various tunes are played every three hours. The diameter of 
the tenor bell is 4ft. 5in., and its weight i ton gcwt. 3qrs. i4lbs. 
The inscriptions on the bells are as follows : — 

Treble. 
The : Gift : of the Rt : Hon : Ld : Foley : A : R : 1754 : 

2. 
When : you : us ; Ring : we'll sweetly sing A : R : 1754 : 

3- 
Fear God Honour the King : A : R : 1754. 

4- 
Peace : and : Good : neighbourhood : A R : 1754. 

5- 
Prosperity : to this : Parish : and : the : Trade : thereof : 

A : R : 1754 : 

L 



Churchwardens 
April 20 ; 1867 



90 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

6. 
We : were : all : cast : at Gloucester : by : Ab : Rudhall : 1754 : 

7- 
Non : Clamor : sed : amor : Cantat : in : urbe : Dei : 

The Rev. Legh Claughton 

Designate Bishop of Rochester 

Henry Toye Woodward 
James Minifie 
Charles Bannister 
John G. Boraston 

Tenor. 
I : to : the : Church : the : living : call : and : to : the : grave 

do : summon ; all : 

C : and : G : Mears : founders : London ; 

The Revd Legh Claughton Vicar. 

Herbert : Willis : Moses : \ 

William ; Knowles : I Churchwardens 

Joseph : Page : f 1857 

William Richd Morton -' 

Sanctus Bell. 
: Come away : make no delay : 1780 

New Bells. 

I. 

I : Taylor : and : Co : Founders : Loughborough : 1882 

Redeem : the : time ; that : flies as : we : chime 

T L Claughton Vicar 

Samuel Stretton 
Harry Taylor 
Chas Bannister 
Michael Tomkinson 
Jas Chambers 

2. 

In : Terra Pax : 

3- 
Gloria : in : Excelsis : Deo 



Churchwardens 



THE PLATE. 

The plate, as described by Archdeacon Lea, consists of three 
cups, three patens, a flagon, and an ahiis dish. The cups are 



THE CHURCH. 91 



of modern mediaeval pattern, with the h.m. of 1849. Each of 
them has the following inscription in a band on the exterior : — 
" Calicem salutis accipiam et norae Dni. invocabo." Of the patens, 
two are salver patens. One of them is inscribed, " Given by 
Thomas Jennens of the City of London Grocer anno 1623." 
This paten has an interest of its own, as it must have been one 
of the sacred vessels of the church during Baxter's ministry. 
The third paten is a small one, and bears the h.m. of i860. 
The flagon and alms dish are also of modern date. Round the 
alms dish is the inscription : — " All things come of Thee, and 
of Thine own have we given unto Thee." There is also a per- 
forated spoon with the h.m. of 1796. 

The following benefactions are recorded on the board in the 
chantry : — 

"Thomas Jennings gave a Cup to be used in the Communion Service and 
to be carried before honest people of this town when married." 

" Thomas Jennings his Grandson gave a cover and plate to the Cup." 

The paten only is now left at the church. The cup and 
cover appear to have been lent to the Corporation. (See p. 83.) 



THE MONUMENTS, &c. 

The monuments of the Cokeseys, Philips, and Blounts have 
been described in the " Baronage." Other memorials of the 
dead who rest in or near the church are these : — 

On a brass on north wall of chancel : William Butler Best Esq. d. Feb. i, 
1865 aged 73. He was first Mayor of the Borough. 

Thomas Ingram the last surviving son of John Ingram Esq. of Ticknell 
near Bewdley d. i May 1817 aged 75. 

Jacob Turner of Park Hall Esq. d. Jan. 6, 1820 aged 65. 

William Lea late of Areley House Esq. For many years an active magis- 
trate of this county b. Jan. 14, 1781 d. July 12, 1S40. He married Eliza 
Frances Turner dr. of the late Jacob Turner of Park Hall Esq. by whom he 
had 8 children, who together with his widow survive to lament his loss. As 
Chairman of the Bench in this his native town he was laborious impartial 
and affable. He was of a cultivated mind and deeply read in the Sciences. 
Remarkable for the extent and accuracy of his knowledge, benevolent 



92 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

charitable, upright, and of gentle manners. As husband, father, brother, 
friend, beloved and respected. He died in peace Relying on his Redeemer's 
merits in hope of a better resurrection. 

A brass tablet on the south wall of chancel aisle records the names of 
several members of one family : — 

Joseph Lea d. 1780. Susannah his wife d. 1781. 

Stephen Lea 1788. William Lea 1801. 

Josiah Lea 1805. Elizabeth wife of Wm. Lea 1830. 

Joseph Lea 1821. Ann wife of John Lea 1833. 

William Lea 1840. Sarah Lea 1844. 

Susanna w. of John Corrie 1851. Hannah Lea 1852. 

John Lee 1858. 

On marble tablets on north wall : John Soley of Sandbourn d. Feb. 14, 
1775. Elizabeth Soley d. Aug, 18, 1761 dr. of Chancellor Lloyd and 
granddr. of Bishop Lloyd. [Arms of Soley imp. Lloyd.] 

Elizabeth wife of John Soley son of above d. Oct. 29, 1784. 

Elizabeth d. of John Soley widow of Rev. Joseph Brooksbank d. Feb. 27, 
1786. 
John Soley of Sandbourne House d. Sept. 25, 1836 aged 69. 

Joanna his wife dr. of late Sam. Skey Esq. of Spring Grove d. March 24, 
1843 aged 85. [The arms of Soley imp. Skey.] 

Joseph Butler draper d. 18 Dec. 1752. 

John Taylor sergeant in the 4th or Queen's Own Regiment of Dragoons d. 
at Elvas in Portugal Nov. 14, i8og aged 27. 

Robert and Elizabeth Cooper ; This Remembrance is humbly made by 
their 2nd son Robert in the 8ist year of his age. A.D. 1731. 

On an alabaster monument on south wall of chancel aisle these arms : Arg. 
on a fess between 2 chevrons gu. 3 mullets of the field. " M.S. Henrici Toye 
Bridgman, gen. qui honesta stirpe oriundus prseclaram indolem feliciter 
expolivit, nee minus aliis vixit quam sibi : legis peritiam summa probitate, 
pari modestia, singulari pacis studio, ceteris demum bonis artibus ornavit ; 
prudens, integer, plus, suis charus, amicis jucundus, omnibus semper bene- 
volus facilisque, post vitae spatium cum laude merita peractum senio con- 
fectus morbo simul correptus (eheu) paralytico placide . . . agebat 
animam : Vir, si quis alius, desiderabilis obiit die 7 Novemb. ann. Di. 
1713-" 

On an oval monument of white marble : " In memory of the Rev. John 
Martin M.A. late rector of St. Helen's and Oddingley, head master of the 
Free Grammar School, and near 50 years curate of this parish — much 
esteemed as a friend, a scholar, and a clergyman. He died 7 December, in 
the 73rd year of his age, 1775." 



THE CHURCH. 93 



Some other monuments, now destroyed, are recorded in 

Nash : — 

Simon Wood d. 7 May 1725 aged 59; Ellen Wood his wife 9 Jan. 1721 
aged 67. 

John Farr d. Dec. 24, 1694 aged 46 ; Frances his wife d. Dec. 27, 1694 
aged 46. 

William Toye, gent. d. 2S Jan. 1728 aged 40. [Arms Toye, imp. ten 
roundels ; on a chief a lion passant.] 

Mrs. Frances Toye, ob. 26 Apr. 1706 aetat. 63. 

Henricus Toye, gen. ob. 7 Nov. aetat. 78. 

H.S.E. Johannes Reynolds gen. 7 Sept. 1710 aetat. 51. Hie defessi quicsciint. 
[Arms, 3 cocks, imp. a leg between two spears.] 

Mary wife of Joseph Cox gen. d. 13 April 1727 aged 52. 

Joseph Cox : he was bred an attorney, and practised near 40 years in this 
borough. A man so dexterous in business, and withal so faithful to his 
clients, that the late Lord Chancellor Talbot in a public manner from the 
bench declared him to be, both for ability and integrity, an honour to his 
profession. Born 28 Feb. 1677 d. March 1737. 

Mrs. Hester Jefferys d. Jan. 8, 1722 aged 66. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Spilsbury, wife of Mr. James Spilsbury d. Ap. 27, 1710. 
[Arms : a bend engrailed cotized a mullet in sinister chief.] 

Capel Hanbury Esq. d. 14 Jan. 1704 in his 79th year. [On a bend a 
star.] 

Kal. Maii 1676 febre obiit Simon Degge filius unicus ex conjugatis Sim. 
Degge Equ. et consiliario insigni, et Alicia uxore vere Christiana. 

William son of Thomas Cox, late Rector of Market Orton, Rutland, d. 4th 
May 1715 aged 51. 

Hie situs est sub spe resurrectionis Adamus Hough generosus ; ob. 26 
Apr. 1681 aetat. 78. 

Elizabeth wife of Adam Hough gent, who died 20 June 1731 aged 54 ; and 
Adam the son of Adam Hough and Elizabeth his wife, d. 9th Feb. 1731 
aged 18. 

Edvardus fil Joannis et Eliz. Cotton, ob. 18 Sept., 1688. 

William Brittol 14 March 171 1 aged 79. Sarah his wife 25 May, 1703. 

Mr. Thomas Crane of Haberley, d. Nov. i, 1728 aged 48. 

Thomas s. of Edward Burton minister of Shrawley d. Nov. 20, 1689 
aged 2. 

John Penn late of Trimpley, d. 31 March 1729 aged 25. 

Dorothy wife of William Waldrcn minister d. Aug. 26, 1662. 

H.S.E. Reverendus Joannes Best ; Scholae Kederministeriensis per 30 
plus annos archididascalus, ad seros usque posteros, mortuus licet, vivendi 



94 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

recte magister futurus ; vir antiquae fidei, et pietatis simplicis ; mores ne 
ipsa unquam incusavit calumpnia : Doctrina sibi soli semper visa est parvula : 
Charitatis vix plures audivere famam quam senserunt fructum ; hanc autem 
singularem sibi laudem potuit vendicare, nisi in eo omnia assent singularia, 
quod spretis mollioris vitas otio, utilioris questu, difficilem docendi provin- 
ciam quam juvenis nactus est non deseruit senex ; obiit 7 die Augusti A.D. 
1729, aetatis suae 59. 

John his eldest son was buried in St. Edward's chapel in the University 
of Cambridge Apr. 13, 1726 aged 18 years. 

In the churchyard : " Here lie the remains of Mr. William Greaves, 
citizen and weaver of London, whose generous endeavours for the benefit of 
the trade of this place procured him esteem while living, and his death 
sincerely lamented. . . . He died 28 July 1725, aged 52. His mother 
Mrs. Elizabeth Greaves Sept. 17, 1729 aged 89." 

Mr. John Spilsbury, an eminent dissenting minister d. Jan. 30, 1727, aged 
60. Mr. Matthew Bradshaw his son-in-law and successor d. 4 Nov. 1742 
aged 42. 

Tradition says that the grandfather of the great Lord Somers 
was buried near the cross in the churciiyard. 



THE CHANTRIES. 

There were formerly three chantries connected with the 
mother church of Kidderminster. Towards the end of the 
thirteenth century the cult of the Virgin Mary received a great 
impetus, and "Lady Chapels" were founded extensively in 
England. In 1305 we have the first presentation of a chantry 
priest to the chapel of the Blessed Mary of Kidderminster (Reg. 
Geynes.), which appears to have been built in the churchyard 
(infra cimiterium ) , a few yards to the east of the church. The 
present building was restored or built by Simon Rise in the 
early part of the sixteenth century, and after the suppression 
and confiscation of the chantries in 1549, it was used as a 
Grammar School. In 1848, when the new Grammar School 
was built at Woodfield, the chantry was improved by Lord 
Ward, and given back to the Church for parochial uses. On 
the north wall is a rude inscription : — " Here lieth Simon 
Brotherton Belman Buried June ye 17th 1628." On the same 




THE CHURCH. 



95 



wall may still be seen shot holes made by the bullets of the 
Parliamentary army. 

The chantry priests, according to Nash, were as follows : — 

Patrons. Priests. 

Sir John Byset, Lord of Kidder-] 

minster, with the Community I Robert de Ryppel, 2 Id. July 1305 



. r ■ 
of the whole Borough . . . . j 



William Bacoun, 4 March 1347 



Hugh de Cokesey j John Symondesde Grafton, 22 Nov. 1349 

° ■' (John de Feckenham, 13 Oct. 1350 

Dionsia de Cokesey | Philip Belenger, 14 Dec 1358 

•' ( Henry de Penne, i April 1365 

Maculinus Delamare j j^f'^ Hankys, 5 Jan. 1391 

(John Pottare, 10 Jan. 1395 

William Malpas, 12 May 1400 

Sir Wm. de Beauchamp . . . . Brian Ricardes, July 1403 

Joane Beauchamp, Lady Ber- f™^,!;^ Sn^g^^' ^5 April 1420 
gavenny .. .. .... .. "j John Westbury, 23 Aug. 1422 

° (Robert bcnvener, 4 May 1424 

Anna, Lady Bergavenny (wife of) T,,.,,. tth o . 
the " Kingmaker ") . . . . . ) ^^^^^^"^ ^'^^' ^^P^' ^435 

The Bishop (jur. dev.) . . . . Thomas Gilbert, 3 June 1446 

Lady Joyce Beauchamp, sister ) John Lawher, 5 April 1468 
and heir of Sir Hugh Cokesey. j Thomas Strynger, 21 April 1469 

Joyce Beauchamp, widow . . . . William Wakeman, 29 March 1473 

Sir John Grevil John Notynham, 30 Dec. 1479 

Sir John Mortymer, Thomas\ 
Jenyns, Bailiff, William Col- 1 

sell, and other more worthy - Nicholas Wright, 27 June 1499 
parishioners of the Church of 1 
Kydermyster j 

Sir Edward Grevil, cousin and] 

heir of Sir John Grevil, son - Roger Charouse, 26 May 1515 
and heir of Joyce Beauchamp. ) 

King Henry Vni William Tomyns, 6 June 1542 

The chantry of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
in the chapel of Trimpley, within the parish of Kidderminster, 
was founded by Sir John Atwood in 1370. The ancient family 
of Atwood, de Bosco, or Boys was seated at Wolverley as early 
as Henry III. In 22 Edw. I. (1294) Peter Sebright granted to 
John de Bosco one parcel of land in Kidderminster. In the 
time of Edw. I. or Edw. II. Edmund de Luttelton (ancestor of 
Lord Cobham) married Lucia daughter ot John dc Bois. 



96 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

(Collins' Peerage, vii., 420.) Robert de Bosco had the wardship 
and marriage of John de Beauchamp, son and heir of Richard 
de Beauchamp, late Lord de la Holte (died 1327), and in right 
thereof presented to the church of Holt Jan. 27, 1329. 

John Boys had the Bishop's licence to celebrate divine ser- 
vice in his oratory or private chapel at Wode Acton, Wol- 
vardle, and Trympeleye for a year, Jan. 19, 1357. The same 
Sir John built the chapel of Trimpley, and founded the chantry, 
and gave one messuage and one virgate of land, 4 acres of 
meadow, and 4 acres of wood in Trimpley, and one messuage 
and one virgate of land, with rent and reversions, at La Lee, in 
the manor of Wolverley, Friday after S. Mark, 44 Edw. IIL 
(1370). By another charter, dated Wolverley, Sunday after 
feast of S. Ambrose, 46 Edw. III. (1372), he gave 405. of silver 
) yearly rent out of land in Rusholte (Rushock), which John de 
London then held, to William de Pedmore, chaplain of the 
chapel of the Blessed Mary of Trimpley, and his successors, 
who shall celebrate divine offices therein for ever. If the 
chaplain exercise traffic, tavern keeping (tabernas), or frequent 
any plays (ludibria) or unlawful shows (illicita spectacida) for 
three months, another must be presented in his room. He 
must reside in the house in the churchyard, and shall have a 
clerk to assist at mass at his own charge. The books, vest- 
ments, ornaments, &c., are to be found by Sir John and his 
successors, who shall keep the chapel and house in repair. 

Sir John Atwode was buried at Wolverley 15 Rd. II. (1392), 
and John Beauchamp, son of Sir John Beauchamp, of Holt, 
was found to be next heir. 

The incumbents of the chantry were these : — 

Patrons. Priests. 

Sir John Atwode William Pedmore, 10 Feb. 1 381 

John Atwode William Pranke, 3 Aug. 1450 

Sir Walter Skull [Y-^u^'^a Li"<?^°ft- ^^ Dec. 1456 

(Richard Barbour, 31 March 1467 

John Atwode James Pyry, 20 April 1501 

The King, by reason of the) -ht-,,- r^-u ^,^ t 1 

• ," r t- ■ T 1 c ij -William Churchley, 12 Tuly iS4^ 
minority 01 r rancis Ingleheld. j ^ ■' ■' -'^^ 

The rentals and other particulars of these chantries, as 
recorded in 1549, will be given later on. The chantry 



THE CHURCH. gy 



house was occupied by the late incumbent in 1549, but 
before Habingdon's time it was " levelled with the soylle," 
Its situation is indicated by the following record : — " On Satur- 
day after the feast of S. George the Martyr 16 Hen, VII. John 
Gyldon of Kyngeslowe parish of Worfield conveyed to Richard 
Eugeley of Trimpley and Julia his wife, Thomas Pope and 
David Maddocks, half a yard-land, lying near to the Chapel of 
the Blessed Mary of Trimpley, called Gyldons with the grove 
below." The " Gyldons " still appears on the parish rate- 
book. 

The chantry of S. Katharine was founded by Lady Joyce 
Beauchamp (nee Cokesey) in 1469, and occupied the eastern- 
most bay of the south aisle. The tomb of the foundress is built 
into the wall under an arch within pillars of stone of very 
elegant design. The work was sadly mutilated during the 
Puritanic regime, and the heads of the saints and angels have 
nearly all been knocked off. Roger Chance was incumbent in 
1549- 

The chantry of S. Katharine, with rents in Habberley and 
Trimpley, was granted to Robert Thomas, Merchaunt Taylor, 
and Andrew Salter, Esq., for ^1142 ^s. ^^d. on 10 March, 
4 Edw. VI. (Patent Roll, part 4.) 

Thomas Reve and John Herdson, 15 May, 4 Edw. VI., for 
^1572 45. 5^^. get charity lands, including tenement and mill 
belonging to the chantry in Kidderminster. (Patent Roll, 4 
Edw. VI., part 7.) 

Cecilia Pickerell, widow, obtains 25 August, 4 Eliz., lands 
called our Lady's lands and All Hallows lands, in tenure of the 
churchwardens, being given to superstitious uses. (Pat. Roll, 
4 Eliz., pt. 3.) The same Cecilia obtains 6 February, 5 Eliz., 
the grant of a close in Kidderminster in the tenure of William 
Feme, and a blade mill in the tenure of Thomas Lamb ; also 
chapel lands. [Pat. Roll, 5 Eliz., pt. 5.) 

William Grice, Esq., and Anthony Forster, on 18 September, 
6 Eliz., obtain grant of a half-virgate of land called the Deanes, 
and two closes of land on either side ot a lane near the two 

M 



98 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Yates, in the tenure of Thomas Agborough, and a cottage. 
(Pat. Roll, 6 Eliz., pt. 4.) 

There was afterwards some dispute about this property, for 
among the Corporation deeds is a re-lease by Roger Maunsell, 
of Pedmore, to Edward Blounte, of Kidderminster, of one half- 
virgate, called Le Deanes, two closes on either side of a certain 
lane near to the two " Les Yates," &c., a meadow called 
Trinity Moore, that whole mill called a blade mill, &c. " And 
I will warrant the above premisses to Edward Blount against 
certain Bartholomew Buckesbie, John Walker, William Grice, 
Anthony Foster, Cecilia Pickerell, and any one of them. 
Feb. II, 1576." 

Inventory of church goods, 6 Edw. VI. (Public Record 
Office : Exch: Q. R. ,A) :— 

This Inventory Indented of all the plate Belles and ornaments belonging 
to the same made and presented to the kyngs Maties Commysoners the ixth 
day of August Anno Edwardi Sexti sexto by Willyam Spyttell curatt Willyam 
fferne and Thomas Bocher Thomas Jennyns and Robert Clerk Church- 
wardens 

In primis hangynge in the Steple iiij Belles 

Item on Sannct Belle 

Item ij chalyces of Selver with Patens 

Item on peyre of great Candelstyckes wth ij peyre of lytle candelstyckes 
all of brasse 

Item on lampe of brasse 

Item xij Copes of sundry colours some of velvett and some of Sattin 

Item vi peyre of Vestments with theyr suets lackynge iij amyasses of lyck 
as the Copes be 

,, ix towells 

,, iij Crasses of Coporas 

,, ij Censers of Coporas 

,, on holy water pott of brasse 
Item theyre ys a Chappell belongynge to the said churche called mytton 

In which theyr is on challis of Silver with a paten 
Item on payre of Vestments of sylver beyinge old 
Item on Cope motley colors not sylke 

Item ij Belles 

J. Russell William Spytull 

Wm. Sheldon Curatt 

George Watt 



THE CHURCH. 99 



Mem. There is a parcell of land in Kethermynster aforesaid which is 
employed to the mayntenance of one yearly obyte within the sayd 
paryshe churche of Kethermynster valewed by yere at iiijs 

To the poore owt of the said obyte wd 

[In P.R.O. (Patent Roll, 12 Jas. I., part 2) is a grant made 
gth Feb., 1612, to George Low and another of a parcel of land 
in the tenure of the churchwardens given for an obit in Kidder- 
minster. Also (Pat. Roll, 14 Chas. I., pt. 7) Sir Edw. Sawyer, 
kt., obtained a meadow situated at Netherton, in Kidderminster 
parish, given for an obit in the Church of Hartlebury,] 

2 Edw. VI. (P.K.O. Calendar of Certificates of Chantries 25. 29 — ; 
60. 19 — ; 61. 15) 

The Paryshe of Kyderminster wherein be the number of DII hundred 
houselyng people 

Chauntry B.V.M. Wyllyam Tommyns Incumbent of the age of three score 
and twelve years learned and of honest convsation 

Yerely value viilib xviiis iid 

Plate — none. Goodes — none. Prechers — none. Scole— none 

Poore iilib Clere vii'ib xviis viiid 

Mem. the said Sir William Tommyns is Vycare of the paryshe of Kether- 
mynster and his Vicarege or benefice is valued to be of yerely 
worth xxxlib 

Chauntry of St. Kateryn. Roger Channce Incumbent of the age of four- 
score yeres competently learnyd and of honest conversacon 

Yerely value viiilib viis vid Wherof in repryses xxviiis iid ■ clere vilib 
xixs ixd 

'Plate— none. Goodes psed at iiis ivd. Prechers — none. School — none. 
Poore iil'b 

The Chauntry of our lady within the Chappell of Trymplcy beyng two 
myles dystant from the sayd paryshe churche — Willy am Churchley 
Incumbent of the age of fortie and foure yeres learned and of honest 
conversacon 

Yerely value x'ib xvjd wherof in repryses viiis iid Clere ixl'b viiis iid 

I'iate — one challis ,^ilte in the custody of S^ Robert Acton Knyght 
weighing vii ouz. 

CJoodes prised at xs Prechers — none. Scole — none. Poore iil'b 



lOO 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Rental of all lands lately held by the Chantry of the Blessed -Virgin Mary. 
(Aug. Off. Mtsc. Bcoks, vol. 374.) 



Margaret Wylde, lane 


Is&c 


. . 


i2d 


Dominus Blunt 




. . 


■zod 


Thomas Costin. . 




, , 


4^ 


William Jennyns 




, , 


^d 


Gilbert Clare . . 




125. 


lod 


Thomas Dolyttle 






^d 


Thomas Gyll . . 






6d 


Henry Dawke . . 






6d 


Anthony Wood 






zod 


Richard Brotherton 




2S. 


2d 


Robert Wynter 




. . 


15s 


John Cergen 






zod 


John Standishe 


• /I 


135 


. ^d 


William Wakeman 




6s. 


8d 


John Complayn 






zod 



Humphrey Mydlopp 
Michael Betylson 
Thomas Butler. . 
John Tomyns . . 
Eleanor Garnett 
John Mundye . . 
Alice Smith 
John Tyllyatt . . 
John Burnynson 
Flumphrey Mydlop 
Thomas Agborough 
John Thurston 
William Tomyns 
Sum 



£7 



6s 
8s 

55 
85 

I OS 

3s 

IS 
IIS 

gs 

7S 
3^ 

2S 

14 6 



zd. 
od. 
od. 
od. 
od. 
od. 
8d. 
8d. 
od. 
lod. 
zd. 
od. 
od. 



Rentals of Trimpley Chantry 

From Anthony Wood in Rushock Parish 
Gilbert Clare 
James Apen . . 
Ramyston pasture : John Whyston 

R. Longmore 
Est hamsley : R. Pytt 
Great lentall : William Fearn . . 
Little lentall : R. Bocher . . 
The Leeys, Wolverley ; John Byrd 
The Chantry House, in the occupation of the late 
Incumbent 

Sum . . . . . . . . ;^'io I 

Payments : — 

' To Henry, Lord Abergavenny for rent from Ramyston 
John Earl of War .vick for rent . . 
Dean and Chapter of Worcester. • 



£^ 

2 

2 



o 

I 

o 

6 

10 

10 

12 

10 

3 



o 
o 
o 

8 

4 
o 
o 
o 
4 



s. d. 



I 

10 

5 



II 
c 
5 



Rentals of S. Katharine's Chantry. 



Robyns Ground in Haberley by Thomas Pope 

John Juke 

Thomas Blonte for Blonte Meadow 

Edward Gryffyn, Habberley 

Humphrey Channce ,, 

Thomas Cooke ,, 

John Hurtyll ,, 

Richard Bocher ,, 



s. d. 

5 o 

4 

4 
o 
o 
o 

3 
2 



THE CHURCH. 



lOI 



Near the Bridge, Richard Ibery 
Ye Lake, John Sergcaant . . . . : 

Ye Lake, WilUam Feme . . 
Hale Street, Edward Townclarke 
Wyldlyes, Trimpley : Rd Fewsterell . . 
,, ,, Humphery Channce 



I 

4 
I 

5 
6 



4 
o 
8 
o 

8 
4 



Leonard Egeley 
Payments : — 



I 



To Henry Lord Abergavenny 

Sir Richard Lygon. . .. .. .. .. .. 40 

Thomas Grey, Armiger . . . . . . . . . . 16 

John Earl of Warwick . . . . . . one pound of pepper 

There was a Chauntrye of our Ladye in Kethermyster the particulars 

whereof we delivered to the Erie of Warwick. 
Also Trimpley to the Erie of Warwick. 

Irrotulantur. 



THE " PROCESS " OF THE CHURCH OF 
KYDERMINISTRE. 

(As Narrated hy the Monks of Maiden Bradley.) 



" The Lord Manser Bfset, founder of the Convent of Leprous 
Women of Bradley, conferred the church of Kyderministre on 
the Convent of Bradley after the death of Robert de Hurecote 
the parson then living : — 

" Know all men present and to come, that I Manasser Biset, Dapifer of 
Henry King of the English have granted in perpetual alms to the Lepers of 
Bradlev the Churches on my Manors after the decease of their Parsons, to 
wit, the Church of Rokebourne by the assent of Henry Bishop of Winchester 
after the death of Crispin ; and the Church of Kyderministre after the death 
of Robert de Hurecote by the assent of Roger Bishop of Worcester. Where- 
fore," &c. 

Next follows the full text of charters, confirming this gift, by 
(i) Henry Biset, son and heir of Manser, (2) King Henry H., 
and (3) Roger Bishop of Worcester (1164 — 1180). The monks 
were impatient of the delay in getting possession, so in the 



I02 A HISTOID' OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

episcopate of Henry de Soilli (1193 — iig6) they persuaded 
Robert to resign on a pension of 1005. They then presented 
Master Adam to the perpetual Vicarage, and required him to pay 
the I005. to Robert, the former Rector, and 1005. to themselves. 
The Dean of Kydeministre inducted them into possession of the 
temporalities of the church, and has left us this memorial of the 
fact : — 

" To all the sons of Holy Mother Church to whom this present writing 
shall come, Calixtus Dean of Kyderministre, Health in the Lord. Know all 
of you, that at the Mandate of Mauger iha Bishop (1200 — 1214) I have 
admitted the Leprous Sisters of Bradley, by Andrew their Procurator, into 
corporal possession of the parsonage of the church of Kyderministre. And 
that this may be known at all present and future times, I have appended my 
seal. Witnesses : Richard Chaplain of Kydeministre, Robert Chaplain of 
Wlferdesleia (Wolverley), Laurence Chaplain of Chedestre, Walter Chaplain 
of Stanes (Stone), Philip Chaplain of Mytton, Robert Deacon of Chedesleia, 
Robert de Chedeston, Roger Deacon of Kyderministre, Thomas, Sacristan 
of Kyderministre, Hamon Clerk, Hugh Spiringe, and many others." 

" By and bye, when the said Adam the Vicar went away, the 
Prior Brethren and Sisters of Bradley presented a certain 
Master Robert to the vacant Vicarage ; and John Biset, son 
and heir of the said Henry Biset, lord of the manor of Kyder- 
ministre, presented a certain other person. But when this dis- 
pute had continued beyond six months, Lord William de Bleys 
(1218 — 1237), then Bishop of Worcester, as if by lapse, pre- 
sented the church to Master Thomas of Upton ; and by the 
title of a perpetual benefit, he ordered the Rector to pay the 
convent 20 marks yearly." Archbishop Stephen Langton, the 
famous champion of the English Church and liberties, issued 
a charter confirming this benefit of 20 marks. 

" Afterwards the said John Biset, who unjustly disputed the 
right of patronage of the church, ceased from strife, and 
remitted in writing his claim to the Convent of Bradley. But, 
nevertheless, when the above-mentioned Rector, Thomas of 
Upton, died, the same John Biset presented a certain Roger de 
Essex to the church of Kydermestre, and in spite of the Prior's 
objection, he was admitted and instituted to it. However, 
Walter [Cantilupe] Bishop of Worcester assigned to the 
Lepers certain tithes in the parish liy his charter, given at 
Kemsey in 1241." In place of the annual rent of 20 marks, he 



THE CHURCH. 103 



assigned the Convent all the tithes of corn and hav on the 
western side of the parish between Severn and Stour, excepting 
the tithes of the vill of Mytton, and the tithes from lands held in 
fee by the Burgesses of Kidderminster. If any new land was 
taken into cultivation the tithes were to go to the mother 
church. John Biset, Roger de Essex, and the Prior and 
Chapter of Worcester severally confirmed this arrangement. 

" But when the Lord John Biset was dead, the Lady Alicia 
Biset, his wife, was dowered with the whole manor of Kidder- 
minster, together with the advowson of the church ; and 
she, after the death of Roger de Essex, presented Master John 
de la Mare to the whole portion which his predecessor had 
held, and the Bishop admitted him. And for a long time the 
Prior Brethren and Sisters went to law with him both in 
England and in the Roman Court, before various Judges, as is 
shown by several writings in the treasury of the Convent. At 
length the litigation was settled by the mediation of friends, 
and concord was made in the presence of E. Dean of Wells and 
Osmund Canon of the Blessed Mary of Warwick, the Auditors 
appointed by the Apostolic See, May 12, 1266. [The pro- 
ceedings touching the said lawsuit, together with a Bull of the 
Lord Pope Urban IV., with letters and commissions of H. 
Bishop of Ostia and Wells, and other instruments and sealed 
letters, are in the treasury.] " 

" Afterwards, when Alicia Biset was dead, the manor and 
advowson descended to three co-heiresses of the Lord John Biset, 
namely, to John de Rivers (Ripariis), son and heir of Margery, 
the eldest daughter of John Biset, and Margery's two younger 
sisters, Ela and Isabella, who renounced all their right in the 
advowson of the church to their nephew, John de Rivers, for an 
annual rent of 2 marks ; and he confirmed the advowson to the 
convent in perpetual alms." 

On the death of John de la Mare, Master William de la Lade 
was presented ; and in a full Chapter of the Deanery of Kidder- 
minster, held at Elmele-Lovet on Wednesday next after the 
Octave of S. Michael, A.D. 1276, attended by the Rectors, 
Vicars, and Chaplains of that Deanery, it was found that the 
said William was legitimate, of free condition, of good report, 



104 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

and of honest conversation. After an incumbency of four years 
William died, and John de Ubeton was inducted into corporal 
possession of the church by Robert de Leth, his proxy, at 
Kidderminster, March g, 1280. 

In 1305 John de Ubeton vacated the living on his appoint- 
ment to the church of Berewyke, in the diocese of Salisbury, 
and his successor was Robert le Blake, whose character was 
approved in a Chapter held in the chapel of Belne Broicton 
(Belbroughton). 

The next Rector was John de Carsleghe, 1312, in whose time 
the present chancel was built, and the greater altar of the 
church consecrated. 

"During the lifetime of Master John the Rector, Henry de 
Frome, Prior, diligently examined all the records of the above- 
mentioned lawsuit, and after deeply meditating as to how the 
ancient advowson, so negligently and unjustly lost, could be 
recovered, he sent his fellow-Canon, William de Chiwton, to the 
Roman Court with a petition in the form which follows : — 

" To the most holy Father our Lord the Pope, the Prior brethren and 
sisters of the Convent of leprous women of Rlaydene Bradeley of the order 
of S. Augustine make their supplication. By their simplicity and ignorance 
in presenting divers secular persons to the church of Kydermenstre for the 
space of 40 years and more they have lost the appropriation which at one 
time had been justly made to them, and they entreat that their ancient right 
may be restored to them by the authority of the Lord Pope. For on account 
of the number of guests flocking to their House, because it is situated near 
the King's Highway close to the Forest of Selewode, and by reason of the 
frequent dearths, and the grievous murrain of their cattle, and the various 
exactions and unfair procurations with which they are burdened, they have 
been reduced to such great poverty that they cannot support the brethren 
serving God there, and the sisters miserably languishing under the disease 
of leprosy." 

By means of the above petition the said William, the Prior's 
nuncio, obtained one Bull " de Bonis," and another " Of the 
Intrusion of the Rector," which are as follows: — 

" Bull ' De Bonis.' 
" Benedict Bishop [Benedict XII 1334] Servant of the servants of God to 
the Venerable Brother the Bishop of Worcester health and Apostolic bene- 
diction. It has come to our hearing that our beloved Sons the Prior and 



THE CHURCH. 105 



Convent of Maydene Bradeley and their predecessors have granted tithes, 
rents, lands, vineyards, possessions, houses, cottages, meadows, pastures, 
granges, woods, mills, rights, jurisdictions and certain other property to the 
heavy damage of the said Priory * * * ^nd because it is of importance 
that we should provide a suitable remedy for this, we command your Frater- 
nity to recover for the Priory all their alienated property, notwithstanding 
all letters, instruments, oaths, renunciations, and penalties : by compelling 
all gainsayers with ecclesiastical censure, the right of appeal being withheld. 
And if any witnesses shall withdraw themselves by favour, hatred or fear, 
you shall compel them by a like censure to bear testimony to the truth. 
Given at Avignon April 5th, in the first year of our Pontificate." 

" Bull ' De Intrusione Rectoris.' 

" Benedict Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to the Venerable 
Brother the Bishop of Worcester, health, grace, and apostolic benediction. 
Our beloved Sons, Henry the Rector, commonly called Prior, and the 
brethren of the Convent of leprous women of Maydene Bradeley have com- 
plained to us, that although the Church of Kydermenstre has been canoni- 
cally united to the Convent, and they long and quietly held the same : 
nevertheless John de Carsleghe priest of the diocese of Worcester by his 
rashness has intruded himself into the said Church, and seized upon it, and 
still occupies it, to the prejudice and injury of the said Prior and brethren. 
Therefore we order your Fraternity by apostolic writings, to summon the 
parties and to hear the cause, appeal being removed, and make a suitable 
decision, causing what you decree to be firmly observed under penalty of 
ecclesiastical censure. Given at Avignon April i, in the first year of our 
Pontificate." 

This visit of William de Chiwton to Avignon 556 3'ears ago 
led to a serious alienation of the property of the church here 
which has never been recovered, and it gives us a glimpse of the 
encroachment of the Bishop of Rome in the internal affairs of 
England. In the fourteenth century nearly all the Bishops of 
Worcester owed their position to Roman mfluence, and of 
course supported his pretensions. Edward III. was only 21 
years of age when William de Chiwton procured the Bulls in 
favour of the Monastery ; but as the King's power became con- 
solidated he refused to be a slave to the Court of Rome, and it 
was rendered penal to procure any presentations to benefices 
from Rome, and every person who carried any appeal to the 
Pope was outlawed. In 1393 the statute of Prainuniye was 
passed, severely punishing any one who at Rome or elsewhere 
procured processes, bulls, &c. 

N 



io6 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



As soon as Simon Montacute received the Pope's Bulls, he 
proceeded to act upon them by converting the Rectory of 
Kidderminster into a Vicarage. After " sufficient, diligent, 
frequent, and solemn deliberation " with the Prior and Chapter 
of Worcester Cathedral, he issued a commission to William de 
Logwardyne, Rector of Hartlebury, and the Dean of Kidder- 
minster to make an inquisition into the value of the living, as 
well by the clergy as by twelve laymen of the parish of Kidder- 
minster, " worthy of trust and sworn." The jury thus 
summoned have left us the following interesting particulars : — 

" They say that the House of the Rector of Kydermenstre at Hurkote, with 
the demesne lands, fish ponds, and dove cot, is worth per annum 405. 

The Rents of the said Rector with the labour of the Natives (villeins) of 
Hurkote are worth 58s. 3^. 

The Rent of Pepper and Cummin . . . i2d. 

Hay from the demesne of the said Rectory 30s. 

The Heather is not sold, but may be taken for Hous-bote. 

The Mill of Horkote . . . 20s. 

Pleas and Perquisites . . . i8d. 

The Tithe of Rye (Siligo) of the said Church 30 quarters value 1005. 
at 40^. a quarter. 

The Tithe of Barley— 20 quarters, value 60s. at 3s. a quarter. 

The Tithe of Beans — half a quarter, value 20^. 

The Tithe of Oats— 12 quarters, value 20s., at zod. a quarter. 

The Tithe of Hay is worth in common years 26s. id. 

The Tithe of Wool— ^4. 

Lambs — 13s. ^d. 

Calves — i2.d. 

Cheese — i2.d. 

Apples — 2s. 

Flax — 135. iSfd. 

Onions — 13s. ^d. 

Garlic — 25. 

Pigeons — 3s. ^d. 

Little Pigs — 105. 

Hawks — 3s. 

Game— 2s. 

from the sale of Wood, nothing, because it is included in the 
Pleas. 



THE CHURCH. 107 



The Obventions of Wax per annum 30s. 

Oblations of the Altar „ ^ £/{. 

Proceeds of the Lenten Roll ,, 66s. 8^. 

From Milk, Peter's Pence, and the Tithe of Curtilages nothing, because 

they appear on the Lenten Roll. 
Live Mortuaries . 20s. 

Dead Mortuaries ... 6s. M. 
Dovecots near the Churchyard 13s. 4^. 
Tithes of the Fisheries at the Staking^, 2s. 
Tithes of Honey, 3s. /\d. 
Eggs at Easter, 3s. ^d. 
Herbage in the Churchyard i2d. 
Wheat at Easter, one strike, 5^. 
Tithes of the Mill of Kydermenstre, 2 quarters, 8s. 
(^f Tol-corn 2 quarters, 6s. 
Of " capital " malt, half-a-strike, 3^^. 
Of " cursal " malt, 4 quarters, value los. 8i. 

Tithes of the Mill of Sandulbourne (Sandbourne) for certain, 2s. 
Tithes of the Mill of Mytton half a quarter of Wheat, value 18^., and M 

at the Feast of the Lord's Nativity. 
Tithes of the Mill of Caldewell for certain izd. 
Rents of the Altar, coming from Affemor (Offmore), 5s. 
From Tithes of Pannage, i2d. 

The Sum of the true Value of the Fruits and Profits of the Church of 
Kydermenstre ^'38 6s. id. 



Obventions and Profits of the Chapel of Mytton in the 

same Parish. 

Tithes of Corn (Frumentum) in common years, 2 qrs., value 8s. 
Tithe of Rye (Siligo), 5 qrs., i6s. B,d. 
Tithe of Barley, 3 qrs., gs. 

,, of Beans, Peas, and Vetches, 2id. 
,, Oats, 6 qrs., gs. 
The Altarage there, with the live and dead Heriots, which are ordained 
for the service of the Chaplain, 53s. i\d. 
The Sum of the true Value of the Chapel of Mytton £^ i8s. gd. 
The Sum Total of both Church and Chapel ^43 4s. lo^d. 



io8 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

But the necessary Expenses of the Church and Chapel aforesaid, and of the 
Rectory of Kydermenstre consist in the following payments : — 

The Stipend of the Parochial Chaplain, who receives per annum 665. Sd. 

The Stipend of the Secular Chaplain, 505. 

The Stipend of the Deacon, 205. 

The Archdeacon's Procurations, ys. ^^d. 

Peter's Pence, 35. /^d. 

Sevagium (?), 2s. 

Wax for the Chancel Lights, 5s. 

Oil for the Chancel Lamps, 2od. 

Incense, ^d. 

For Straw for the Church, three times a year, i2d. 

For Repairs of the Chancel, 3s. ^d. 

For finding one Peroferum, if it is wanted \ 

For the Stipend of the Chaplain celebrating at Mytton j 53 ■ 4 

Also for Autumnal Expenses in collecting the corn and hay at Horkote 505. 

For collecting Fruits at Mytton, 65. M. 

For providing Corn for the Eucharists, and Blessed Bread on Easter Day, 

2.S. lod. 
For Wine for the whole year, including Easter Day, 2od. 

The Sum of all the things required, £1^ 15s. 2^d. 

Also the Tenth to be paid for the same Church on its taxation of 31 marks, 
supposing it to run continuously, amounts to £2 is. ^d. 

The Sum Total of the Ordinary and Extraordinary Burdens £15 165. 6^d. 

And the additional annual Burdens which the Prior and Convent of 
Maydene-Bradeleghe have taken upon themselves, after they shall have 
obtained peaceful possession of the said Church, are these : — 

An annual Pension of one mark to the Lord Bishop of Worcester and his 
successors for ever. 

Also another annual Pension of one mark to the Chapter of Worcester 
Cathedral. 

Also the large and small tithes coming from the Woods of Trympeleye and 
Eymor, which have been granted to the said Chapter, in recompense 
fur the emoluments which they might have received during the 
vacancies of the church, if this appropriation had not been made, 205. 

Sum Total of old and fresh Burdens ;^i8 3s. 2^d. 

And thus the Church, with Mytton Chapel, when the said burdens are 
deducted, is worth in common years £2^ is. 8d. 



THE CHURCH. log 



The Obventions and Tithes which the Religious were accustomed to 

receive before the Appropriation, from a time previous to which memory 
does not exist, are these : — 

Tithe of Corn, i6 qrs. 645. 
Tithe of Rye, 40 qrs., £6 13s. ^d. 

,, Barley, 12 qrs., 36s. 

,, Beans, Peas, and Vetches, i qr., 3s. 4<i. 

,, Oats, 40 qrs., 6G5. Sd. 

,, Hay 19s. 

Two Cart-loads of Hay from the Meadow called Eymores-meadow, 

4s. ^d. 

One Cart-load of Hay in Stonhammes-meadow, 25. 2d. 

Two Cart-loads from the Meadow called Pokeles-mor 45. 2d. 

One Horseload from Suttones-meadow /\d. 

Total £16 13s. ^d. ; from which is to be subtracted the Expenses of 
carting the said tithes 565. Sd. 

And thus their portion is worth, nett ;^i3 6s. 8^. 

May the Most High preserve you for long ages for the Government and 
support of His church. 

Given and done at Kydermenstre Feb. loth A.D. 1335." 

On receiving this report Simon Montacute, Bishop of Wor- 
cester, drew up a lengthy " Ordinance of the Vicarage," of 
which the following is an outline : — 

" To all the Sons of Holy Mother Church &c. greeting. 

"We Simon, Bishop determine in this wise. The Vicar shall have for his 
dwelling house one suitable Manse near to the south side of the Church in 
which the Parish Priest (Parochialis Prcshikr) was accustomed to reside, 
together with the Dovecot close to the churchyard, and the grass growing in 
the churchyard. Also 12 acres of arable land belonging to the church viz. 
Bondecroft (3 acres), the Helde lying towards Comberton (2 acres), Colver- 
croft adjoining the churchyard (2 acres), Dodeleghes-croft near Whytmers 
(3 acres), and one croft near Uppe-medue (2 acres). The Vicar shall also 
have the tithe of hay coming from the three hamlets of Agberewe, Com- 
berton, and Heathy: also the tithes of milk, cheese, chickens, calves, little 
pigs, falcons, pigeons, bees, wax, honey, apples, flax, hemp, onions, garlic, of 
gardens and curtilages with whatsoever seed they are sown, of feedings and 
pastures ; also of woods (boscorum), of fallen timber, of pannage, game 
(vivarii), fisheries, ponds, eggs; also of the mills now within the parish viz. 
Kydermenstre, Sandelbourne, Mutton, and Caldewell and of those which 
shall be hereafter erected, the mills of the Rector only excepted. He shall 
have all mortuaries, dead animals, and tricennials, and all oblations what- 



no A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

soever within the parish : moreover the whole altarage of the Chapel of 
Mytton with the living and dead heriots, the tithes of lambs, wool, and all 
other smaller tithes of the same chapel ; and the Lenten offerings which have 
from ancient times bee\i inscribed on the Lenten Roll, and all the smaller 
tithes of the whole parish. 

" Saving to the Convent all the tithes of lambs, wool, and hay except 
those already mentioned, and the living mortuaries, as also all smaller tithes 
whatsoever coming from the manor of Oldington, and from the Court of the 
Rectory of the church, when it shall have come into their hands by reason 
of this appropriation : also the tithes from woods (silvis) and trees ; and the 
smaller tithes from the parks of Trymple and Eymor, which we have lately 
conceded to our church of Worcester. 

" The Vicar shall have the rent of 5s. due to the altar of the church pro- 
ceeding from Affemore (Offmoor) and the Easter wheat. He shall officiate 
by himself or suitable ministers in the Church of Kyderminstre and the 
Chapel of Mytton. He shall provide the Archdeacon's procurations, Peter's 
Pence, the Synodal rents, and all other taxes except the one mark due to us, 
and the one mark to be paid to the Prior and Chapter annual ly : which pay- 
ment, and the charge of littering the church with straw at the usual times, 
we wish to pertain for ever to the Religious. But the Vicars shall provide 
the lights in the chancel, the bread, wine, and incense, books and ornaments 
at their own expense. The reparation or rebuilding of the Chancel shall 
pertain to the Convent. 

" For their better memory and observance we have caused these our present 
letters to be written in triplicate and confirmed by our own seal and that of 
the Brethren and Sisters of Maiden Bradley : one to be kept in the treasury 
of our church at Worcester, one to be in the custody of the Religious, and 
the third to remain with the said Vicar and his successors for ever. 

" Given at Bredon 2 Ides April A.D. 1336." 

" But as time went on the Venerable Lord Symon Bishop of 
Worcester abovementioned was translated to the See of Ely, 
and the religious man Lord Wolstan Prior of Worcester by the 
grace of God was raised to the Bishopric. Master John de 
Carsleghe Rector of Kidderminster died, and after his death the 
Prior and Convent immediately were solemnly inducted into 
corporal possession of the church by the Venerable Official of 
the Archdeacon of Worcester, as is more fully seen by his certi- 
ficate." The certificate is dated at Kidderminster on Thursday 
the Feast of S. Margaret the Virgin, A.D. 1340. 

" As soon as the Prior and Convent were thus inducted, they 
forthwith presented Sir John de la Doune to the perpetual 
Vicarage in the portions assigned by the aforesaid Ordinance : 



THE CHURCH. m 



and he immediately after dinner, after the induction of the 
Prior and Convent, was inducted to the presentation of 
this kind. 

" When these things had been done and gracious!}' com- 
pleted, tlie said Sir John de la Doune, like an ungrateful man 
(quasi homo ingvatus) after peaceful possession of his said 
Vicarage, when only a short time had elapsed, raised a quarrel 
about the insufficiency of his Vicarage to suj:)port the burdens 
laid upon it. And this he did by the advice of the clergy, the 
bishop, and his other friends, and especially of his parishioners, 
who perchance desired easy rents (pingues redditus) for their own 
advantage, especially because the Vicar resided personally 
among them. So at length the Prior and Convent, as if com- 
pelled by necessity and for the sake of peace, were obliged to 
consent to a new ordinance of the said vicarage." 

The bitter feeling then so widely prevalent between the 
parish clergy and the monks is expressed in an old carving now 
on the pulpit of Ribbesford church, but at one time forming 
part of the rood screen. A fox habited as a monk is preaching 
to a congregation of geese : some of the silly birds have 
already been captured, and are sticking out from the cowl at 
his back. 

Wolstan Bransford (1339 — 1350) was one of two Bishops of 
Worcester (out of 14) who were elected in the fourteenth cen- 
tury without papal interference ; and it is evident from the 
monkish historian's confession that his sympathies were wilh 
the parish clergy against the encroachments of the Convent. 
Under his auspices the following more favourable appropriation 
was obtained : — 

" The Vicar and his successors for ever should have the whole manor of 
Horkote where the Rectors formerly were accustomed to reside, with its 
buildings, lands, heriots, and everything pertaining to the said manor ; also 
all the fruits, profits, oblations, and tithes great and small which Master John 
de Carsleye the last Rector had held. 

" Excepting the tithes of sheaves and hay proceeding from the lands and 
meadows between Stour and Severn ; and the tithes coming from the Con- 
vent's demesnes of Oldynton and Borclassch ; and the tithes from all land 
newly brought into cultivation between Stour and Severn and containing less 



112 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

than one acre which are commonly called Burgaieries ; and all tithes from 
the Parks of Trympele and Eymour already conceded to the Prior and 
Chapter of Worcester. 

" But the Vicar and his successors must every year pay to the Convent 20 
marks of silver of good and legal money in their manor of Oldynton, and one 
mark to the Bishop and one mark to the Prior of Worcester. The Vicars 
shall likewise pay the tenths and procurations of the Cardinals and Legates 
and Nuncios of the Apostolic See, and all other taxes and burdens on the 
Church, together with repairs of the Chancel up to ^od. per annum. But if 
the reparation or rebuilding of the Chancel happens to exceed ^od. it is the 
duty of the Convent to pay it. 

" And if at any time the Vicar shall be in arrears with his payments (which 
God forbid !) the Monks may sequestrate his goods wherever found in the 
diocese of Worcester ; and they may re-enter his manor of Horkote and dis- 
train on all goods and cattle found therein, and may drive them off and shut 
them up in their manor of Oldyntone until all arrears, damages, and expenses 
have been fully satisfied. 

" And immediately after institution the Vicars shall swear corporally upon 
the Holy Gospels of God that they will pay the 20 marks and other dues 
faithfully every year at the place and times appointed. 

" Sealed in the Chapter of Maiden Bradley nth Dec. 1340. 
"John de la Doune agreed at Hertlebury 14th Dec. 1340. 
" The Bishop affixed his seal at Hertlebury 18 Dec. 1340." 

The narrative, which has hitherto carried us on without a 
break from Henry II. to Edward III., a period of nearly 200 
years, here ends abruptly ; and for the next two centuries, 
ending with the final repudiation of the Pope's authorit}^ over 
the EngHsh Church, we have only scraps of information derived 
for the most part from the Diocesan Registry. With the growth 
of wealth and luxury in the monastic orders, the Scriptorium 
appears to have been neglected, and all our later information 
from the chartulary refers only to rents and leases. Much, how- 
ever, might be written on the condition of the country 555 years 
ago, as revealed by the exhaustive valuation then made of the 
income of the Rectory. We notice the extensive cultivation of 
flax, an article absolutely necessary before the introduction of 
cotton. The only vegetables grown were onions and garlic. 
All the apples in the parish were valued at only 20s. per annum, 
while pears are not even mentioned. Sugar was unknown : 
honey was its substitute. Wool was the most valuable commo- 
dity of the realm, and supplied the main portion of the King's 



THE CHURCH. 113 



revenue. There is some difference of opinion as to the correct 
rendering of siligo, or (as it is written in the original of William 
Coton's Will, page 6y) sigolum. Hale gives it as "very white 
wheat, winter wheat" ; but Du Cange considers it synonymous 
with the French seigle, rye, and this latter view is strengthened 
by the return of 18 qrs. of wheat (fnimentum), at 45. a quarter, 
in addition to 75 qrs. of rye (siligo), at 3s. ^d. a quarter. It was 
cheaper than wheat. By multiplying the tithes by 10 we get 
a rough agricultural return of the average produce of the 
parish, viz., wheat 180 qrs., rye 750 qrs., barley 350 qrs., beans, 
peas and vetches 20 qrs., and oats 580 qrs. Some portions of 
the district are still known as the ryelands. 

In 1399, May 12th, Richard II. claimed the presentation of 
the church, and ordered Tideman Bishop of Worcester to 
institute John Brugge or Bridges. This was one of the last 
legal (?) acts of the tyrannical King, settled just before he 
started for Ireland ; and one of the first acts of his successful 
rival, Henry IV., was to restore the patronage to Maiden 
Bradley, 23rd Nov., 1399. Bishop Tideman appropriated the 
Vicarage again on 14th April, 1401. Another ordinance of the 
Vicarage was made by Richard Clifford, Bishop ol W'orcester, 
13th April, 1403. The Vicar was to provide " bread and wine 
for the communion of the Parishioners, processional candles, 
incense, the lights necessary for the morning masses and other 
canonical hours to be celebrated daily in the choir, and one 
lamp burning before the great altar in the church of Kyder- 
mynstre." 



LIST OF VICARS. 



Appended will be found a list of 44 Vicars of Kidderminster 
in a continuous succession for more than 700 years. Of a few 
of them we get some further details : — 

John Withers was M.A. and Proctor of Oxford University 
1491, and was made Doctor of Canon Law by papal bulls. 
On 3 Jvily, 15 13' ^^^ supplicated to be incorporated as 



114 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

D.Can.L. of Magdalen. In Modern Wilts, pp. 103-106, is 
an exemplification of proceedings between the Prior of 
]\Iaiden Bradley and John Wythers, Vicar of Kidder- 
minster, concerning an annual rent of 5 marks issuing out 
of the church of Kidderminster, with a judgment for the 
Prior and Convent, Mich., 21 Henry VII. His name is 
not recorded in Nash. 

Richard Jenyns disp. at Oxford 13 Dec, 1515. 

William Pykenham, Piknam, or Pygnam, Oxford B.C.L.,sup, 
for B.Can.L. 15 Nov., 1508; for D.Can.L. 27 June, 1509; 
15th June, 1510, disp. 30 May, 1511, 5 Nov. 1516. (Oxford 
Hist. Soc.) 

John Harley, sup. for B.A. July, 1536, adm. 5 July, det. 1537, 
disp. Mar., June, Dec, lie for M.A. 4 June, 1540, inc. 
July, of Magdalen. He was born at Newport Pagnel, and 
was elected Fellow of Magdalen about 1537. He was 
Rector of Upton-on-Severn, Vicar of Kidderminster (1550 — 
1553), and Prebendary of Worcester. Wood says that he 
was tutor in the Duke of Northumberland's family, and a 
preacher at Oxford against the Romanists in the reign of 
Edward VI. Leland praises him for his virtues and 
learning, especially in classical authors, for his fine vein of 
poetry, &c. On May 26, 1553, he was consecrated sixty- 
seventh Bishop of Hereford at Croydon. Queen Mary 
deposed him from his See on account of his being married, 
and he died in obscurity about 1557. 

Alexander Creke was chaplain to the Duke of Northumber- 
land (father-in-law of Lady Jane Grey), at whose request he 
was presented to the Vicarage by Sir William Cecil. 

(Domestic State Papers, vol. xv.) 

Thomas Willoughby or Wylloby, sup. for B.A. Jan., 153*, 
adm. 30 Apr., disp. Feb., 153^, because he is going to take 
holy orders, det. in Lent, sup. for M.A. 17 Feb., 1531, lie. 
3 May, 1539, inc. and disp. 7 July. (Oxford.) 

Ralph Smith, sup. for B.A. 12 June, 1567, lie. for M.A. 
24 March, 157^. (Oxford.) 



THE CHURCH. 115 



John Odell, sup. B.A. 5 Nov., 1584, lie. M.A. 1596. (Oxford.) 
The burial ground adjoining Mytton chapel was consecrated 
during his incumbency, Nov. 13, 1625. 

George Dance was appointed in 1627 by Sir Edward Blount, 
whose choice was far from being a happy one. Baxter in one 
place speaks of him as "a w^eak and ignorant man, who 
preached only once a quarter," and also as a " frequenter of ale 
houses;" but to Bishop Morley he admitted that he was a 
" man of unblameable life and conversation, though not of such 
parts as would fit him for the care of so great a congregation." 
He resided in the Vicarage-house, on the site now occupied by 
the Town Hall. The Sir Rowland Hill statue, Messrs. 
Brinton's works, the Bank buildings, &c., stand on ground 
once fonriing part of the Vicar's garden. The " Swan " has 
taken the place of the old Tithe Barn. During the vigilant 
administration of Archbishop Laud, a " terrey " of the church 
property was made, which is of interest when compared with 
the earlier " ordinances " of 1335 and 1340 : — - 

" An Inventory 01 Terrey of the Gleebe Lands, Howseinges Tyethes, and 
Priviledgej belonginge to the Vicaridge of Kidr 

"To all true Christian Peonle to whom this present Inventory or Terrey 
Indented shall come to be seenc, reade or understoode George Dance Gierke 
Vicar of Kidderminster sendeth a;reeting in Our Lord God everlastinge, 
That Whereas the Right Reverend Father in God William by God's Provi- 
dence Lord Archbishopp of Canterbury, Primate and Metropolitan of all 
England at his Metropolitan Visitation holden within the Dyocese of Wor- 
cester Anno Dni 1635 and in the Eleventhe Yeare of the Reigne of our Sov" 
Lord Charles by the Grace of God of England Scotland Fraunce and Ire- 
land Kinge Defender of the Faith gave forth unto his Clergy of that Dyocese 
certayne Articles or Interrogatoryes amongst wch, one was for the giveing in 
an Inventorye or Terrey o{ all such lands of any sorte as they or any of them 
together with theire Churchwardens and Persons of Credytt coulde fynde 
to be Lande Areable, Leasowes, Meadowes or Pastures, Commons or other 
Commodity s &c. and the same in Parchment fayerly written should deliver 
unto the Principle Register of the Byshopp of Worcester under their Handes 
subscribed. 

" Know Ye that I the said George Dance together with Humfrey Pagett 
James Heminge Tliomas Hurtle William Garmson Churchwardens, Elias 
Artche and John Pearshall High Baylyffs of the Towne of Kidderminster 
ha\'c taken \eyue and survey of all the savd lands &c. as the same heretofore 



ii6 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



hath bin had and used reputed and taken beyond the memory of man and 
soe continued unto the Day of the date hereof. Inprimis the Mansion Howse 
of the Vicaridge contayninge eight Bayes or thereabouts, one Howse over 
agst the sayd Vicaridge used for a Barne and Stable contayninge syx Bayes. 
And of Gleeb Landes as followeth viz. the Churchyard, one Acre and a halfe 
or thereabouts, the Whytmarsh called Dudlesse Grounds being fyve Glosses 
twelve acres or thereabouts, the Pasture called Culvercroft contayninge twoe 
Acres or thereabouts, the Bryckfield the Barne Closse, the little Meadowe 
between the Barne and the Brick field containing 7^ acres, the longe 
Meadowe adjoininge to the Bryck feild syde 2 acres, one Akre of Arrable 
land beinge in Leaswall feild, one Garden belonging to the Vickaridge and a 
little spare Ground on the back syde of the Vickaridge Howse. 

"There is alsoe a Chappell at a Towneshipp called Nether Mitton in the 
sayd parish wch doth belonge to the sayd Parish Church of Kidr with Glebe 
Land belonginge to the same which is annexed to the aforesayd Vickaridge 
wch. hereafter followeth viz. the Chapell Church Yard containeing one Akre, 
the Chapell Hill containinge 12 acres of Arrable Land, in the Church fild a 
peece of eareable land conteininge 4 acres in the same field, at Newland 
Gate one acre, in the Wall field at the Middle hedge three parcels of ear- 
rable Land contayninge 4 acres, in old follow one peece of earrable land 2 
acres, one Meadowe called Priest's Meadow contayninge 2 acres with a 
Tenement to the same contayninge one Bay and half two parcels in the Cow 
Pasture called the Leigh containing 3 acres, one parcell of Meddow in the 
upper end of the Lampytt next to the Hedge, ^ acre. In Tythes and Tenths 
as followeth of all manner of Corne and Grayne from the Ryver of Stovver 
unto Dearne Foarde, Allsoe the Tythe Hay of Mytton wth. all other Tythes 
here underwritten throughout the psh of Kidr. All the Tythes of Woods 
(except the Woods of Mayden Bradley and Eymore Parke) and of fyshe, of 
wool. Iambs, pyggs, geese, pidgeons, eggs, fruits, hempe, flax, onions, garlick, 
honey, hoppes, mills, for Servants Wages and Craftsmens Hands, allsoe 
Herbage and Joycements, for the Milke of a Cowe a Penny ; for every Calfe 
sould the tenth penny, for every calfe reared a half peny, for the fall of a 
colt a penny, a Garden Penny, for every Sheep sould between Michaelmas 
and the Annunciation of the B. V. Mary a halfe peny, and from thence till 
Sheare tyme a penny, of every Parishioner a Communicant, communicate at 
Easter 2d., the dutyes of Weddings, Buryinges, and Purifyings as are accus- 
tomed, and Mortuaries, all which Premisses are now in the possession of the 
sayd George Dance Vicar or of his Assignes. There are alsoe certayn other 
Groundes mentioned in a Terrey dated 1588 as belonginge to the Vicaridge 
of Kidr viz. the Meadow called Pyntolatchett Meadowe 2 acres, one parcel 
of earrable land called the Healde lyinge above the Worcester Crosse con- 
taininge 2^ acres, one little meadow between the Vicaridge Howse and 
Slower and enclosed with the Vicaridge Brooke contayninge J acre, which 3 
parcells are now and have byn in the handes of other men from before the 
tyme of the said George Dance his Institution. In Witness whereof &c. 
Dated 14th day of January 11 Charles Anno Dni 1635," 



THE CHURCH. 117 



After 13 years' ministry the Vicar offered to allow ;^6o per 
annum to a Curate, to be chosen by 14 of his parishioners, and 
on 5 April, 1 64 1, the famous Richard Baxter was legally 
appointed. During the Civil Wars in 1646 Dance was deprived 
of his benefice, but was allowed to live in the Vicarage, with a 
pension of ;^40 a year. At the Restoration he sent in a petition 
(Rep., vii., p. 121), 23 July, 1660, setting forth that about 14 
years since he had been sequestered out of his Vicarage for his 
allegiance to his late Majesty, and praying that he might have 
the benefit of the order for detaining the tithes in the hands of 
the churchwardens and overseers. He was soon reinstated, 
and held the living till his death in 1677. 

Richard Baxter was for 14 years quasi Vicar of Kidder- 
minster, and his name and fame will ever be associated with 
the town. His biography is national rather than local, and has 
been so fully illustrated by his own Narrative, and by Calamy, 
Orme, Sylvester, Long, Bates, Fawcett, Davies, Dean Boyle, 
(tc, that only an outline need be given here. He was born at 
Eaton Constantine, in Shropshire, 12 Nov., 1615, and was 
educated first at Wroxeter School, and afterwards by the Rev. 
Richard Wickstead, Chaplain to the Council of the Marches at 
Ludlow Castle. His education was of a somewhat desultory 
character, and he did not study at any university. His chief 
delight was in logic and metaphysics and controversial divinity. 
In 1633 he was introduced to Sir Henr}^ Herbert, of Ribbesford, 
Master of the Revels, with whom he lived about a month at 
Whitehall ; but a Court life was not to his taste, and he 
returned to Shropshire. About 1638 Mr. Thomas Fole}^ of 
Kidderminster and Stourbridge, built and endowed a new 
Grammar School at Dudley, and offered the Head Mastership 
to Baxter, who was then ordained at Worcester by Bishop 
Thornborough, and preached his first sermon in the upper 
church at Dudley. A year afterwards he removed to Bridg- 
north as Curate to the Rev. William Madstard, who had been 
Incumbent of St. Anne's, Bewdley. On 5 April, 1641, he was 
appointed Curate of Kidderminster church, " and thus," says 
he, " I was brought by the gracious providence of God to that 
place which li.id the ( liii-fest of my labours, and \-ieldcd me the 



i 



ii8 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

greatest fruits of comfort." About the end of 1642 a Parlia- 
mentary order was issued to deface images of the Trinity and 
pull down the crosses in the churchyards. The townsmen were 
indignant at this iconoclasm, and Baxter deemsd it prudent to 
retire for a time, during which he acted as Chaplain to the 
Parliamentary army. In 1647 he lived in retirement, chiefly at 
the house of Sir Thomas Rouse, of Rouse-Lench (and the Hall, 
Kidderminster), where he had a serious illness. Here he com- 
menced his greatest book. The Saints' Everhsting Rest, which 
he finished and published while at Kidderminster in 1650. He 
lived in the old house in High Street, of which the lower part 
has been modernised, but the upper part (and especially the 
attics) has been left untouched. About 60 of his 168 published 
works were issued during his residence in Kidderminster, 
including The Call to the Unconverted, The Reformed Pastor, and 
The Saints Rest. The latter work was dedicated to his " Dearly 
Beloved Friends, the Inhabitants of the Borough and Foreign 
of Kidderminster," Jan. 15, 1649. The second edition was 
published in 1651, and a copy of it was presented by the author 
to the High Bailiff of the town, and has ever since been most 
carefully preserved among the Corporation archives. The 
inscription on the fly leaf, in Baxter's own handwriting, is as 
follows : — " This Booke being Devoted, as to the service of the 
Church of Christ in generall, so more especially to the Church 
at Kederminster ; the Author desireth that this Coppy may be 
still in the custodye of the high Bayliffe, and intreateth them 
carefully to Read and Practice it, and beseecheth the Lord to 
blesse it, to their true Reformation, Consolation, and Salva- 
tion. — Rich. Baxter." Many of his works were " Printed for 
Nevil Simmons, bookseller in Kederminster," whose " half- 
penny " was issued in 1663 (page 79, No. 13), and who after- 
wards settled in London and continued to print for Baxter. In 
the chancel of the parish church is an old oak chair with 
inscrijition carved on the back, " Rev. Rd. Baxter born nr. 
Shrewsbury in 1615 and died at London in i6gi. Chaplain to 
King Charles II. Rev. T. Doolittle M.A., Sr H. Ashurst Bt., 
Kidderminster A. 1650 D." Baxter speaks of " Mr. Thomas 
Doolittle, born in Kidderminster, a good schollar, a godly man, 
of an upright life and moderate Principles, and a yer\- profitable 



THE CHURCH. iig 



serious Preacher." To Sir Henry Ashurst, Jiarl., Sylvester 
dedicated his Rdiquia Baxteriams, i6g6. He also stood by 
Baxter in the day of his trial and distress, paid the fees for his 
six counsel, and when the trial before Judf^e Jefferies was over, 
led Baxter through the crowd, and convey^^d him away in his 
coach. He was also Baxter's executor, and it is possible the 
chair may originally have belonged to him. (Bradley.) Tlie 
pulpit of the parish church in use in Baxter's time is preserved 
at the New Meeting. There is an oil portrait of him in the 
vestry of the church, and another, dated 1691, in the vestry of 
the Old Meeting. The paten used in Baxter's time is still at 
the church, and it seems probable that the Jennings cup at the 
Towndiall was used by him at the Holy Communion. There 
is apparently nothing in the Parish Registers in his own hand- 
writing, and most of the marriages, &c., were taken b\ his 
assistants, Thomas Baldwin ami Joseph Read. There is one 
solitary exception : — " 1659 Aug. 15th. Thomas Woodward 
and Mary Richards were joined in marriage by M'' Richard 
Baxtar minister." In holiness of life, intense earnestness, 
devotion to duty, obedience to conscience, untiring diligence, 
and loyalty to his Master, Richard Baxter has few equals. 
" Once started as an author, he literally poured out l)ook after 
book — great folios, thick (juartos, crammed duodecimos, pam- 
phlets, tractates, sheets, halt-sheets, and broadsides." (Nat. 
Biog.) His works would make nearly 40,000 closely-printed 
pages ! His theological opinions, however, were unicpie, and 
he has left behind him no distinct class ot followers. " He 
opposed Calvinism ; he opposed Arminianism ; he would not 
allow himself to be considered an Episcopalian m the ordinary 
sense of the word ; he (kmied that he w'as a Presbyterian ; and 
scorned to be thought an Independent." (Oniw.J With John 
Tombes, the leader of the Baptists, he had a famous dispute in 
Bewdley church, before a crowded congregation, lasting from 
9 o'clock in the morning till 5 o'clock at night. In his pastoral 
work in the town he was eminently successful. He preached 
once every Sunday and once every Thursday. On Thursdays 
he held an evening meeting ol his parishioners, when one of 
them was called upon to repeal the sermon, and another lo 
pray. In the carl\' j)art nl his ministry he catechist-d 111 i hinch, 



I20 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

but afterwards two days in each week were devoted to private 
catechising, he and his assistant taking fourteen famihes 
between them. " On the Lord's day there was no disorder to 
be seen in the streets ; but you might hear a hundred famihes 
singing psahns and repeating sermons as you passed through 
them. . . . Yet many ignorant and ungodly persons there 
were still among us ; but most of them were in the parish and 
not in the town. And whereas one part of the parish was 
impropriate and paid tithes to laymen, and the other part main- 
tained the church, a brook dividing them, it fell out that almost 
all that side of the parish which paid tithes to the church were 
godly honest people, and did it willingly without contestation, 
and most of the bad people of the parish lived on the other 
side. . . . Three or four of my neighbours managed the 
tithes for me, of whom I never took account ; and if any one 
refused to pay his tithes, if he was poor, I ordered them to for- 
give it him. After that I was constrained to let the tithes be 
gathered as by my title, to save the gatherers from law suits. 
But if the parties were able, I ordered them to seek it by the 
magistrate, with the damage, and give both my part and the 
damages to the poor ; for I resolved to have none of it myself 
that was recovered by law, and yet I could not tolerate the 
sacrilege and fraud of covetous men. When they knew that 
this was the rule I went by, none of them that were able would 
do the poor so great a kindness as to deny the pa3^ment of their 
tithes. ... It much furthered my success that I staid still 
in this one place near two years before the wars, and above 14 
years after ; for he that removeth oft from place to place, may 
sow good seed in many places, but is not likely to see much 
fruit in any, unless some other skilful hand shall follow him to 
water it." At the Restoration Baxter was offered the Bishopric 
of Hereford, which he refused. He asked only to remain at 
Kidderminster ; but Dance was still legally Vicar, and could 
not be removed except by his own consent. The King and 
Lord Clarendon both favoured Baxter's wish, but his impatience 
of all ecclesiastical authority led Bishop Morley to refuse to 
grant him even a licence to the Curacy. In his parting address 
to his flock he advised them " to keep to the public assemblies, 
and make use of such help as might be had in public, together 




RICHARD )i.\XI'h;K. ()!• K I ni)i;K M I XST l-.R. 
(I-'toii! ait 0!ii /'till/ J 






•5 

4) 



THE CHURCH. ' 121 



with their private prayers." To this he made three exceptions: 
when the preacher " set himself to make a holy life seem odious," 
or " preached heresy," or " was utterly insufficient." After leaving 
Kidderminster he went to London, and preached under licence 
of Bishop Sheldon. He refused to comply with the Act of 
Uniformity in 1662, and retired to Acton, in Middlesex, where 
he wrote many books. In the same year he married Margaret 
Charlton, daughter of a Shropshire magistrate, who was residing 
with her mother in Kidderminster. His excellent wife, much 
younger than himself, died in 1681, and he then wrote a 
touching " Breviate " of her life. The intolerant spirit of the 
time twice led to his imprisonment. On the latter occasion he 
was tried for sedition, before Judge Jetferies, who grossly 
insulted him, as described so graphically by Macaulay. He 
went to his rest Dec. 8th, i6gi, and was buried in Christ 
Church, London. A beautiful statue by Brock, placed in the 
Bull Ring, was unveiled by Mrs. Philpott 28th July, 1875, when 
addresses were delivered by Dean Stanley and the Rev. Dr. 
Stoughton. [A full account of " Baxter in Kiddcniunster " 
was contributed by the Rev. E. Bradley to the Leisure Hour, 
August, 1872.] 

Richard White was instituted 18 Oct., 1677. " A census of 
the parish taken at this time returned 1587 Churchmen, 8 
Papists, and 14 Nonconformists — ^which looks as if the inhabi- 
tants had taken Baxter's parting advice and contented them- 
selves with the ministry of the Church." Mr. White was the 
author of " The Reward of Christian Patience, as it wa? 
discovered in a Sermon preached at the Funeral of Mr. Thomas 
Baldwin, a Nonconformist Minister of Kidtienninsler, 1693." 

George Butt was son of Dr. Carey lUitt, physician, of Lich- 
field, and was born 26 Dec, 1741. He was educated at Stafford 
Grammar School, then on the foundation at Westminster 1756, 
and thence elected to Christchurch, Oxford, where he graduated 
B.A. in 1765, M.A. in 1768, and B.D. and D.D. Oct., 1793. He 
was ordained to the Curacy of Leigh, Staffs., in 1765, which he 
resigned for the post of private tutor to the sen of Sir E. Win- 
nington. in 1771 he was presented to the Rtctory of Stanford 
and Vicarage ol Ciiiton, and \n i773uuLnied M.ulha Sherwood, 
p 



122 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

daughter of a LonJon silk merchant. In 1778 he was presented 
to the Vicarage of Newchurch, Isle of Wight, whicli he after- 
wards exchanged for Notgrove Rectory, Gloucestershire. In 
17S3 he was appointed Chaplain-in-Ordinary to the King. In 
1787, on the appHcation of Dr. Markham, his old master at 
Westminster, he was appointed by Lord Foley to the Vicarage 
of Kidderminster, which he held along with his other cures. He 
took up his residence in the town, but in 1794 returned to Stan- 
ford, and used to ride into Kidderminster to take the services. 
On 30 June, 1795, he was struck with palsy, and died on 
30 Sept. following at Stanford, where he was buried. He left 
a son, John Martin Butt, who took orders, and became the 
author of some theological works, and two daughters, both 
well-known authoresses, Mrs. Cameron and Mrs. Sherwood. 
Dr. Butt published Isaiah Verified, 1784 ; several Sermons on 
special occasions; in 1791, Sermons, in 2 vols. ; in 1793, Poems, 
in 2 vols., dedicated to the Hon. George Annesley, afterwards 
Lord Valentia, one of his former pupils. 

Arthur Onslow was born 30 Aug., 1746. He was son of 
Lieut. -General Richard Onslow, and nephew of the Right Hon. 
Arthur Onslow, for tliirt}^ years Speaker of the House of 
Commons. He went from Eton to Exeter College, Oxford, 
from which he was elected a Fellow of All Souls. In 1770 he 
was ordained Deacon, and in 1772 married Frances Phipps. 
In 1774 he was presented to the living of St. James', Garlick 
Hithe, and next year was appointed Chaplain to the House of 
Commons. In 1779 he was made Canon of Christchurch, and 
in 1782 he was nominated to the Curacy of Maidenhead. In 
1785 he was collated to the Archdeaconry of Berks. In 1795 
Mr. Onslow succeeded Dr. St. John as Dean of Worcester, and 
in the same ^^ear was instituted to the Vicarages of Kidder- 
minster and Wolverley. He resigned Kidderminster in iSoi 
to his eldest son, Archdeacon R. ¥. Onslow. When he was 
instituted to the Vicarage of Lindridge in 181 1, he also resigned 
Wolverley. He died at Lindridge 15 Oct., 1817, and was buried 
in the crypt of Worcester Cathedral. He left three sons, 
Richard, Arthur, and Phipps ; and three daughters, one of 
whom was married to the Rev. E. Winnington Ingram. 



1 



THE CHURCH. 123 



Thomas Legh Claughton gained the "Latin Verse," " Latin 
Essay," and " Newdigate " prizes at Oxford, wlicre he 
graduated B.A. (First Class Lit. Hum.) in 1031. He was 
Fellow of Trinity College and Public Examiner (1835-6). In 
1841 he was presented to the Vicarage of Kidderminster by 
Lord Ward. The population of the borough at his coming 
amounted to 17,000, with only two clergymen and two churches. 
There were no daily services, and no services on Saints' days. 
One " railful " of connnunicunts was considered a large number. 
To ask " Who was the meekest man?" was considered suffi- 
cient preparation for confirmation. High pews, galleries, and 
whitewash disfigured the fine old church. Scarcely a response 
was heard except the clerk's, and sprigs of holly were stuck in 
each seat for Christmas decoration. Church numbership was 
scared}' understood, and there was but little intercourse 
between different classes. There were occasional " Charity 
Sermons," but the privilege of Christian almsgiving was little 
realized by Churchmen. It is not cause for wonder that many 
of the earnest men and leading families of the town were 
Dissenters. Whatever we may think of the *' Oxford move- 
ment " doctrinally, we cannot shut our eyes to its influence in 
raising a truer conception of reverence and solemnity in the 
worship of God, and in arousing the feeling of individual and 
corporate responsibility and of self-denial for humanity. Under 
Mr. Claughton's able administration a new era was begun in 
the Church life of the parish. Baxter's uifluence 200 years 
before had had great results, but he had to deal with a popu- 
lation of which all the adults could be gathered into the parish 
church at one time. The population had now been allowed to 
grow far beyond the church accommodation, and most vigorous 
exertions were required to grapple effectively with the spiritual 
destitution. For twenty-eight years the work was unweariedly 
and successfully carried on ; and when the life of Dr. Claughton 
is written, his labours in Kidderminster will form not the least 
valuable part of it. As with Dr. Hook at Leeds, his active 
parochial work drew to his side a band of earnest helpers, who 
longed to learn the spirit and power which animated it. Among 
the Curates of the parish may be mentioned some well-known 
names: — A. Biomfiold (Bishoj) of Colchester), W. Wajsham 



124 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

How (Bishop of Wakefield), Hon. A. G. Douglas (Bishop of 
Aberdeen and Orkney), W. R. Churton (Senior Fellow of 
King's College, Cambridge), G. D. Boyle (Dean of Salisbury), 
Hon. George Herbert (Dean of Hereford), Hon. H. Douglas 
(Vicar of St. Paul's, Worcester), A. E. Seymour (Archdeacon 
of Barnstaple), H.J. Fortescue (Vicar of St. George's, Leicester), 
C. Warner (Vicar of Clun), B. Gibbons (Vicar of Stourport), 
A. C. Thynne, W. W. Douglas, A. L. Peel, T. L. Inge, W. F. 
W^ilberforce, J. S. Chesshire, &c. In 1867 Dr. Claughton was 
consecrated Bishop of Rochester, and when in 1877 the new See 
of St. Albans was formed, he became its first Bishop. He 
married the Hon. Julia daughter of William tenth Baron Ward, 
and has several children, one of whom is Duchess of Argyle. 

George David Boyle was of Exeter College, Oxford, B.A. 
1 85 1. He was ordained to the Curacy of Kidderminster in 
1853, and remained four years. After three years' Curacy of 
Hagley, he was appointed (1861) to the Perpetual Curacy of 
St. Michael's, Handsworth. In 1867 he came back to Kidder- 
minster as Vicar, and for 13 years carried on most efficiently 
the work inaugurated by his predecessor. As an expert in 
educational matters he rendered great service to the town in 
his capacity of Chairman of the School Board during the first 
years of its existence. Mr, Boyle was also an examiner in 
several branches of H.M. Civil Service. In 1880 he was pro- 
moted to the Deanery of Salisbury. He is the author of 
Sermons ; Confession according to the Rule of the Church of England ; 
Lessons from a Churchyard ; The Trusts of the Ministry ; My Aids to 
the Divine Life ; and Richard Baxter, a Sketch. 

Thomas Legh Claughton was son of the Bishop of St. 
Albans, and nephew of the Earl ol Dudley. He graduated at 
Oxford in 1871, and was ordained in 1874 ^o the Curacy of Ash- 
bourne. From 1876 to 1880 he was Vicar of St. Mary, Kings- 
winford, which he left on his appointment as Vicar of 
Kidderminster. In 1886 he was made Canon of Worcester, 
and in the following year he resigned Kidderminster and 
accepted the poorer parish of St. Andrew, Worcester. 

Sidney Phillips, the forty-fourth Vicar whose name is 
recorded, is of Brasenose College, Oxford, and was ordained in 




THE RIGHT REV. THOMAS LECH CI,AU(;UTt)N DD 
First llisiiop of Sr. Alu-.ns. 

ViCAK 01-- K'lIMUiKMlNSlKK liS^I 1S67, 



THE CHURCH. 



125 



1864 in Kidderminster church. He was for three years Curate 
of Newland, and afterwards held in succession the benefices of 
Castle Hedingham, Essex, Monrnouth (1875-79), '^'^^ Nuneham 
Courtney, Oxon. In 1887 he succeeded Canon Claughton at 
Kidderminster, 



Patrons. 



Rectors. 



Date of 

Induction 

between 



Robert 1164 — 1180 

Adam 1200— 1203 



1218 — 1237 



King Richard II 

Convent ot ivlaiden Bradley. 



Manser Biset 

Prior and Convent of Maiden 

Bradley . . j 

Bishop William de Blois I t,, j n <. 

,. ^j , - Thomas de Upton 

(jur. dev.) j ^ 

John Biset Roo;er de Essex 1241 

Lady Alicia Biset .. .. John de la Mare 1265 

Convent of Maiden Bradley. William de la Lade 1276 

John de Ubeton 1280 

,, Robert le Blake 1305 

,, ,, John de Carseleghe 1312 

VlC.^RS. 

,, „ John de la Doune 1340 

,, ,, Thomas Payne 1362 

John Porter 

John Brugge 1399 

Thomas Malle 1402 

William Sutton 

William Baker 1420 

William Mountford 1431 

Edward Caldecote 1463 

John Newman, LL.B 1485 

John Wythers, D.Can.L [1506] 

Richard Jenyns (Prior) .. .. 1515 

William Pykenham, D.Can.L. . 1520 

William Tomyns i535 

John Harley, B.D 1550 

Alexander Creke 1553 

Thomas Willoughby, M. A. .. 1561 

Ralph Smith, M. A 1587 

John Columbine 15S9 

John Odell, M.A 1625 

George Dance 1627 

Richard Baxter 1640 — 1660] 

Richard White, B.D 1677 

William Jordan ,. [16^2] 

John Howard, M.A 1701 

William le Hunt, B.D 1729 



Michael Betonson 
King Edward VI. . . 
Thomas Blount . , 



Sir Edward Blount 
[A Committee of 14 
Thomas Foley 



Thomas Lord Foley 



126 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Patrons. 



Rectors. 



Thomas Lord Foley . . . . Robert Job Charlton, LL.D. . 

,, .... Thomas Wickens, M. A. .. 

Lord Foley George Butt, D.D 

,, Arthur Onslow, D.D. 

Richard Francis Onslow, M. A 

James Farley Turner, M. A. 

Lord Ward Thomas Legh Claughton, D.D 

Earl of Dudley George David Boyle, M. A. .. 

Thomas Legh Claughton, M. A 

Sidney Phillips, M. A. 



Date of 

Induction 

between 

1746 
1776 
1787 

1795 
1801 
1836 
1841 
1867 
1S80 
1887 



THE DAUGHTER CHURCHES. 



The original parish of Kidderminster contained no less than 
19,800 acres, or about 31 square miles. Four Vicars of district 
churches now relieve the Vicar of Kidderminster of a large part 
of his responsibility. As long ago as A.D. 1200 the chapel of 
St. Michael at Mytton had been founded to supply the spiritual 
wants of a district four miles from the parish church. (Pp. 102, 
107.) From Bacon's Liber Regis, it would appear that in 1535 
this chapel had fallen into the hands of the Monastery of Hales 
Owen. In 1563 Mitton chapelry contained 23 families. In 
1625 (Nov. 13) the ground lying round the chapel was conse- 
crated for burials by John Tiiornborough, Bishop of Worcester. 
Mr. John Odell, Vicar of Kidderminster, John Yarranton and 
John Wilkes, chapelwardens of Mitton, and John and Hum- 
phrey Grove, gentlemen there, were the petitioners. (Nash, ii., 
P- 59-) What the original chapel was like we have no record : 
the present building (1791) is supremely ugly, and is very 
characteristic of the entire deadness to the sense of beauty 
which prevailed in the eighteenth century. The foundations of 
a new church — which, when finished, will be one of the finest 
in the county — were laid on Sept. 8, 1881. Only the porch and 
south aisle are finished as yet, but they serve to show the beauty 
of Mr, J. O. Scott's desiijn. 



THE CHURCH. 127 



In 1844 (June 19) th-:i hamlet of Lower Mitloii was made a 
chapjir}' district : by Lord Blandford's Act in 1S66 the Per- 
petual Cuiate became Vicar. The earhest register is 1693, and 
the value of the living is about ;^6oo, with residence. 

There are some monuments in the church : — 

Here rest the remnins of Kebecka Lugg widow of Arthur Lugg Esq. 
daughter of John Foley Esq. and grand daughter of Thomas Lord Folliott, 
who dying without issue (Oct. ye ist, 1745) Devised her Manors of Mitton, 
Lickhill, &c. to John Folliott (Lieutenant General of ye King's forces, 
Governor of Ross Castle and Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Ireland) her 
nearest relation of the name Folliott Who dying Feby 26, 1762 also with- 
out issue devised the same together with the rest of his estate in England 
and Ii eland to his first cosen and sole executor John Folliott Governor, 
Representative in Parliament of the town of Kinsale Who agreeable to his 
kinsman's instruction and his own inclination hath caused this monument to 
be erected to perpetuate the memory of an excellent person, in every circum- 
stance respectable, equal to the most accomplished and worthy. 

On ye west side of this chmcell doore lyeth interred the body of the 
Honourable Anne Soley wife of John Soley of Lickhill Esq. who was ye 
eldest daughter of ye Right Honourable Thomas Lord Folliott and departed 
this life the 28 April i6g6 aged 40 years. 

Also near to the S. side of the Chancell lyeth interred ye body of Hum- 
phrey Soley second son of ye said John Soley and Elisa his wife who died 
27 Feb. 1700 aged 5 months. 

In memory of Joseph Craven of Park House Streeten-in-Craven Leeds 
who died 30 March 1867 aged 61 years. I^Ie was for many years a Deputy 
Lieutenant of the County of York. Also Lord of the Manor of Lickhill and 
Lower Mytton. 

Also of John William Craven who died at IJphall near Edinburgh 12 Oct. 
1871 aged 33 years and was interred at Dalmahoy Scotland. 

Sacred to the memory of liichard Jukes Esq. who was born May xx 
MDCCLXVHI and died May xxix MDCCCXXXIV. He was eminently 
distinguished as a medical practitioner for superior sagacity in detecting 
disease, generous devotion to the cause of humanity, and disinterested bene- 
volence. These elevated qualities attracted general admiration and esteem, 
and secured to him a brilliant career of profe.ssional usefulness. As a friend 
he was singularly warm and confiding, and inspired in those who knew him 
sentiments of regard and veneration. 

Also of Lucy widow of the above died Jan. 17, 1846 aged 74. 

The chappell was repaired and beautified by the inhabitants of Lickhill 
and Lower Mitton and this Loft was built by Pynson Wilmol Gent, he being 
Chappell warden for the year 1707, 



128 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

To the memory of Richard Heath Esq. late of Stourport Who died gth of 
Septr 1850 aged 57 This tablet is by his friends and fellow townsmen affec- 
tionately and gratefully inscribed. With that true liberality and kind fore- 
thought for the poor which characterized his life, he at his death bequeathed 
;^iooo to the Church-wardens and Overseers of Lower Mitton and their 
successors, directing that the interest should be equally divided between 
the schools connected with this church and the most deserving poor of this 
parish. 

The hamlet of Upper Mitton (formerly in Hartlebury) has 
recently been attached to Lower Mitton ; and All Saints 
Church and Schools have been erected there at the sole cost of 
Mr. Alfred Baldwin, of Wilden House. St. Gabriel's Mission 
Church is in Stourport. 

In very early times a curious subterranean vault, cut out of 
the rock at Blackstone, and still in existence, was occupied as 
a hermitage. The recluse had a lovely view of the Severn. The 
chapel was about 30 feet by 14 feet, and there were several 
other rooms. A view and ground plan of it are engraved in 
Stukeley's Iter. Cuv., i., 13, and reproduced in Nash (ii., 48). 
The hermit is supposed to have received alms from the trows 
which passed up and down the river. 

The old chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
with its chantry, founded at Trimpley in 1370, has already been 
mentioned (p. 96). 



WRIBBENHALL. 

After the long interval of 330 years the next chapel of 
" Christchurch in Wribbenhall " was built by subscription 
(1701). It was erected on a piece of garden ground held on 
lease by John Cheltenham under Lord Abergavenny. The 
Register of Baptisms and Marriages begins 8 April, 1723, but 
the chapel and burial-ground were not consecrated till 1841. 
In 1844 a district was assigned to the church, and in 1856, 
under 19 and 20 Vict., c. 104, Wribbenhall was constituted a 
separate parish. The old church was quite devoid of architec- 
tural beauty ; so in 1S79 the new church of All Saints was built 
on a site given some years previously by the late Walter Cham- 
berlain Heming, Esq., of Spring Grove, to whose memory the 



I 






C/5 



n 

o 

o 
w 



o 

c 
o 

5 
o 
m 



z 

(/I 

H 

n 



00 

o 





i 



THE CHURCH. 



129 



beautiful east window (by Heaton, Butler, and Bayne) was 
erected. Mrs. Hemming contributed largely to the building fund. 
The church is of red sandstone, in the Early Decorated style, 
and contains sittings for 450 people. 

There are beautiful windows in memory of Mr. J. \V. T. Lea, 
of Netherton (Burlison and Grylls), Mr. Slade Baker, of Sand- 
bourne (Heaton, Butler, and Bayne), and Miss Baugh (Hard- 
man). There is also a monumental brass in memory of 
Colonel Philip Wodehouse, of the 15th Hussars, one of the 
heroes of Waterloo. 

The old church has been pulled down, the Inirial-ground 
enclosed, and a stone cross erected on the spot where the altar 
once stood. 

Some Incumbents of Wribbenhall 



1720 


Walter Jones. 


.... 


Filewo(jd. 


1722 


John Hassall. 




George War ton, B.D. 


1739 


Bingham. 


1836 


William Hallen, B.A. 


1742 


Daniel Collins. 


1850 


Charles Warner, M.A. 


1749 


— — Boraston, M.A. 


1864 


Augustus William Gurney 


.... 


Thomas Wigan, D.D. 




M.A. 


. . . . 


Joseph Taylor 


1878 


James Lamb Chesshire, 


.... 


William Miles, M.A. 




M.A. 


— 


John Foley, M.A. 







ST. GEORGE. 

During the deadly warfare with Napoleon the struggle for 
existence had taken up all the energy of the nation, and had 
left little leisure for internal reforms. With the advent of 
settled peace came however into prominence the sad spiritual 
destitution which had been allowed to overtake our great cities 
and towns. As a thank-offering for England's safety. Parlia- 
ment voted a million of money — the only money ever given to 
the Church by the State — to build new churches in populous 
places. To this grant we are partly indebted for the building 
of the church of St. George, containing 2000 sittings, of which 
1200 are free. The site and burial-gruuiul were provided !)>■ 
the parishioners, wlio also subscribed ^2000 towards the 
building. The (iisl stone was laid by llic \'icar ot Kidtlcr- 



I30 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

minster, the Ven. Archdeacon R. F. Onslow, and the conse- 
cration took place 13 Sept., 1824. It has since become a 
Vicarage, with a population in 1881 of 8554, and yearly income 
of ^500. When " Broomfield " was purchased for the Vicarage 
of Kidderminster in 1888, the old parsonage house (near The 
Copse) was sold to the Vicar of St. George's. In 1832 a 
musical festival was held in the church for the benefit of the 
National Schools. The total receipts were ;^I242 — nett ;^45o. 

The reredos of alabaster represents the Ascension in alto- 
relievo in the centre, with medallions on each side symbolical of 
the Four Evangelists. It was erected (1874) ^^ memory of 
" Charles John MacQueen Mottram 31 years a Minister of 
Christ in this town." The handsome silver-gilt alms dish was 
" presented by a former Curate " (Rev. B. Gibbons) 1854. 

A beautiful window, representing the " Good Shepherd " and 
the " Light of the World," is dedicated in memory of Charles 
Harvey (born 25 May, 1812, died 5 April, 1889), " a true Son 
of the Church of England, who loved the place where God's 
honour dwelleth." 

On marble tablets : — 

In memory of Charlotte Mary Key dr. of Sir Kingsmill Grove Key Bart. 
and sister of the Rev. John Kingsmill C. Key M.A. She was for 3 years a 
Sunday School Teacher and earnest Church Worker in this parish, and was 
suddenly called away from earth on the day before she intended to set sail 
to work with her brother in the Central African Mission at Zanzibar 
Oct. 26th 1881. 

Jane Hooman the beloved wife of James Hooman of Franche d. 11 Nov. 
1825 aged 40 years. 

Edmund Yates Peel son of Robert John Peel of Burton upon Trent Esq. 
d. at Waresley 20 Feb. 1826 aged 7 months. 

Incumbents of St. George's. 

1824 William Villiers, M.A. 

1842 John Downall, M.A., Magdalen Hall, Oxford. 

1848 T. Baker Morrell, M.A., Balliol Coll., Oxford. 

1852 Chas. James Macqueen Mottram, B.A., Magdalen Hall, 

Oxford. 

1872 Frederic Rawlins Evans, M.A., Exeter Coll., Oxford. 

1876 Stephen Browne Bathe, M.A., Balliol Coll., Oxford. 

1887 Theobold William Church, M.A,, Keble Coll., Oxford. 



THE CHURCH. 131 



The mission church of St. Andrew in this parish was built 
in i88g at the sole cost of the Rev. Clement Newcomb, one of 
the Curates. 



ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST 

The parish of St. John, though the youngest daughter of the 
Mother Church, is inferior to none in activity for the spiritual 
and temporal welfare of the people. One of Dr. Claughton's 
first plans for adapting Church work to modern times was the 
division of the old town parish into three districts, independent 
of each other, but all looking to the Vicar of Kidderminster as 
their patron. All Saints was in the centre, and St. George's 
on the east, so the new church of St. John was planted at the 
west end of the town. It is built of blue brick with Bath stone 
dressings, in imitation of the Norman style, but with a lofty 
spire. There are sittings for about iioo persons, Soo being 
free. The cost of such a large building was only ^4000, and it 
is hardly to be expected that it could be of very solid structure. 
In fact, it is not weather proof ; but during its fifty years' 
existence it has welded together the parishioners, and brought 
about a unity of feeling which is now showing itself in an active 
attempt to make their spiritual home more worthy of the honour 
of God and more suited to the wants of the people. The arms 
of Bishop Pepys (who consecrated the church June 24, 1843) 
and Lord Ward are in the east window. Another window com- 
memorates the chief benefactor : " Bless ye the memory of the 
late John Woodward Esquire by whose pious aid this church 
was in part built and the adjoining schools founded. He died 
April 7, 1838 cBtat. LIX." 

The reredos surrounding the apse is of alabaster in diaper 
work, with recesses enclosed by semi-circular arches. The 
central sculpture represents The Last Supper : other 
recesses form sedilia, aumbry, and piscina. " In honour 
of Ajlmighty God and of the passion of His dear Son, and in 
pious memory of Edward and Ann Elizabeth Morton, this 
Keredos is dedicated by their loving children. AD. 
MDCCCLXXX.' 



132 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



The north window of the apse was given by the Rev. Melsup 
Hill in memory of his wife. The window in the south transept 
commemorates Mr. Joseph Kiteley, who died 5 August, 1880. 

Two mission chapels have been built in this parish — (i) St. 
Stephen's (1887), for the benefit of the very poor dwelling in the 
courts of Mill Street ; and (2) The Holy Innocents (1888), for 
the more distant residents of Sutton Common and Foley Park. 
The population in 1881 was 7462, and the value of the benefice 
^^400 with residence. 

Incumbents of St. John's. 

1843 Richard Pritchard, B.D. 

1844 Melsup Hill, M.A., Jesus Coll., Cambridge. 

1857 George Robinson Kewley, M.A., Fellow of Univ. Coll., 
Durham. 

1882 John Frederick Kershaw, M.A., Trinity Coll., Cambridge. 



When the districts of the four daughter churches have been 
deducted, there still remains a population of 11,000, occupying 
an area of 8000 acres, or nearly 13 square miles, who look up to 
All Saints as their parish church. The hamlet of Trimpley, 
deprived of its chapel about 300 years previously, was again 
provided with its own House of God in 1844. The chapel is 
dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is built in the Norman st3de, 
and will accommodate 120 worshippers. There is a graveyard 
attached. 

St. Barnabas, Tranche, consecrated in 1871, was erected in 
memory of the late Rev. H.J. Fortescue by his daughters, on a 
site given by Mr. Joseph Chellingworth. There is a day school 
attached to the church, for which Mr. M. Tomkinson provided 
a teacher's residence as a " Jubilee " gift in 1887. 

St. James's Church (1872), near the Horse Fair, was the 
generous gift of the Rev. H. J. Fortescue (Curate of Kidder- 
minster 1867-1876, and now Vicar of St. George's, Leicester). 
It is a centre of vigorous work in a crowded district. 




CHURrTT OF St. JOHN THE HAl'TIST, 
Kll >1 >1:KM INS'IKK (.V.l). 1890). 



4 
4 
4 



THE CHURCH. 133 



The Church of England Working Men have lately started a 
mission in a room on Larkhill. 

In 1800 there was one working clergyman (a Curate) resident 
in Kidderminster : there are now thirteen. The Church 
service is celebrated ui no less than fourteen buildings within 
the area of the old parish. 



V 



134 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



CHAPTER VI 



tTbc IRonconformists. 




HE " Old Meeting " is, as its name denotes, the 
oldest Nonconformist congregation in the town, 
and has lately replaced the plain barn -like 
building of 1824 by a handsome edifice in the 
Decorated Gothic style ; and has changed its 
name to " Baxter Church," This is considered 
to be the most handsome building possessed by the Indepen- 
dents in the county. It is 74 feet long by 48 feet wide, and 
affords accommodation for 1000 people. At the north end is an 
apse, with organ chamber on the left side. The spire, 140 feet 
high, forms a striking feature in the centre of the town. The 
windows are of cathedral-tinted glass, that on the north being 
of five lights, with symbols of " Charity," " The Beatitudes," 
" The Holy Trinity," &c. Mr. F. W. Tarring designed the 
building, which was erected by Mr. R. Thompson at a total cost 
of ^8400. The first stones were laid 30 Sept., 1884, by Mr. T. 
Lea, M.P., and Mr. T. Banks ; and the opening ceremony took 
place 8 Sept., 1885, when the sermon was preached by the Rev. 
E. R. Conder, D.D., of Leeds. 

The original trust deed bears date ii Aug., 1694 : it states 
" that a dwelling house, with the garden and backside there- 
unto belonging, situate in the Bull Ring Street near the Town 
Bridge had been purchased of John Radford jun"" by Sam. 
Bowyer, Sam. Read, Wm. Smith and Thos. Doolittle of Kidder- 
minster, and a meeting-house erected thereon for the worship 
and service of God." 

The total cost of this first building was ;^383. Tradition 



THE NONCONFORMISTS. 135 

states that the Rev. Thos. Baldwin, sometime one of Baxter's 
assistants, had previously held services in a room in Mill 
Street ; but the first minister of the meeting-house was John 
Spilsbury, son of the Rev. John Spilsbury, M.A., Fellow of 
Magdalen College, Oxford, and nephew of Dr. Hall, Bishop of 
Bristol. In the diaries of Joseph Williams and Mrs. Housman 
there are many references to the earnest way in which he dis- 
charged his spiritual duties. He died 31 Jan., 1727, aged 60, 
and was buried in All Saints' churchyard. He was succeeded 
by his son-in-law, Matthew Bradshaw (1726 — 1742). After a 
vacancy of two years, Benjamin Fawcett, M.A., a pupil of Dr. 
Doddridge, was appointed : his success was great, and in 1753 
a larger meeting-house was built on the old site at a cost of 
£1200. Mr. Fawcett died 18 Oct., 1780. He published an 
abridgment of some of Baxter's works, and was the author of 
twenty-four publications, including sermons, of which a list is 
given in his funeral sermon, preached by the Rev. Thos. Taylor, 
a native of Kidderminster, and prefixed to the last edition of 
his work. The Grand Enquiry. His Sermon on the Murder of 
Francis Best is in the town library. Mr. Best, of Caldwell Mill, 
was robbed and murdered 8 June, 1771, while walking along 
the footpath through the fields to Bewdley market. The 
murderer, John Child, of Wribbenhall, was hanged at 
"Worcester. 

Towards the end of Mr. Fawcett's ministry a strong minority 
of his congregation had accepted the Unitarian views which 
were then spreading so rapidly among Nonconformists, and 
which almost shattered the Presbyterians as an independent 
body in England. Thomas Wright Hill, a native of Kidder- 
minster, and father of Sir Rowland Hill, tells us in his Remains 
(page 30), " My parents were of a very strict sect of Dissenters. 
The congregation [Old Meeting] with which we worshipped 
had the Presbyterian discipline, and was very much mixed as 
to doctrinal opinions. A considerable number, among whom 
were my mother and her nearest relations, were Calvinists ; a 
considerable number, of whom my father was one, were Armi- 
nians. My father too, and some of the Arminians, were like- 
wise Arians." The next minister was John Barrett (1782 — 



136 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



1798) ; but forty-six members refused to sign the invitation on 
account of their Arian behefs, and decided to secede. They 
asked to be allowed to hold their services in the meeting-house 
during the intervals of public worship, and were requested in 
return " to resign up one of the parsonage houses for which 
they were in trust, agreeably to the intentions of the trust 
reposed in them by the congregation, at whose expense the said 
houses had been built." This they refused to do, and were 
therefore denied " the use of the Meeting House by the major 
part of the Trustees." They accordingly began to hold their 
services, 24 Feb., 1782, in a vacant warehouse, till the " New 
Meeting" Unitarian Chapel was opened 18 Oct., 1782. The 
ministers of the " Old Meeting " who succeeded were Alexander 
Steill, 1798; Thomas Helmore, 1810 ; Joseph John Freeman, 
1820; Robert Ross, M.D., 1827; Thomas Greenfield, 1840; 
Albert Creak, M.A., 1850 ; Thomas Greenfield, 1853 ; J. 
Marsden, B.A., i860; George Hunsworth, M.A., 1872; Ben- 
jamin Bryant Williams, 1881 ; Francis Henry Blanchford, 
1886. 



The Society of Friends had at one time a meeting-house in 
Kidderminster. In 1659 Robert Widder, " for speaking the 
words of truth to Baxter in the steeple-house at Kidderminster 
was imprisoned there, as also was William Pitt of Worcester 
who accompanied him ; and Nicholas Blackmore, \Yilliam 
Pitt and John Waite passing from Worcester to Kidderminster 
were set in the stocks there, under pretence of their having 
broken the Sabbath by travelling on that day." The Quakers 
would stand in the Market-place, and under Baxter's window 
year after year crying to the people, " Take heed of your 
priests ; they deceive your souls," and if the}' saw any one wear 
lace or neat clothing they cried out to him, " These are the 
fruits of thy ministry ! " (Noake : Wovcestev Sects, page 216.) 



The secession of the Unitarians from the " Old Meeting," 
and the building of the " New Meeting" in 1782, has already 
been noticed. The chapel, situated in Church Street, received 



THE NONCONFORMISTS. 137 

a new stone " Perpendicular" front, &c., in 1883, at a cost of 
;^26oo, and will accommodate 700 persons. There are stained 
windows — " The Sower," in memory of Mr. William Talbot 
(by Pearce), and " Jesus as Teacher, Friend, and Risen Lord " 
(by Hardman), in memory of Miss Annie Stooke, Also the 
following tablets : — 

To the memory of Nicholas Pearsall Founder of the adjacent Schools d. 
2 July 1798 aged 71. Ann relict of the above and the last survivor of the 
family of Fincher of Shell in this county d. 5 May 1806 aged 82 years. 

George Willey born 14 March 1791, d. 4 Aug. 1875. 

Rev. Richard Fry 25 years Minister born 5 Nov. 1759 d. 12 March 
1842. 

In loving memory of my grandparents Henry Talbot who died 23 Oct. 
1873 aged 70 and Caroline his widow who died 15 Jan. 18S9 aged 87. Erected 
by C.E.W. 

In memory of George Talbot J. P. born 14 March 1792 d. 4 Sept. 1868, 
and of Charles Talbot b. 26 Aug. 1804 d. 25 March 1841. In whose memory 
this Chapel was repewed and improved July 1870. 

The ministers have been — R. Gentleman, 1782 ; — Severn, 
1796; J. Lane, 1806; J. B. Smith, 1810; J. Ward, 1813 ; 
Richard Fry, 1813 ; John Taylor, 1836 ; Matthew Gibson, 
1842; Edward Parry, 1855; Abraham Lunn, i86g; W. H. 
Fish, 1875 ; W. E. Mellone, 1876 ; W. Carey Walters, B.A., 
1879 ; James Hall, 1888 ; Priestley Evans, i8go. 



On 30 July, 1766, a petition was presented at the Quarter 
Sessions by John Pearsall, John Hill, and Josiah Butler, under 
the denomination of " Gospel Believers," certifying a tene- 
ment in the Park Butts as a place of divine worship. 



John W^esley first visited Kidderminster in 1771, when it was 
included in the Gloucestershire circuit. " The brother that 
goes on circuit from Woycestey goes on Wednesday to Stourpoyt, 
Mr. CoivcWs ; Thursday, to Beivdley, Mr. James Leivis, near tlie 
church, shoemaker ; Friday to Kidderminster, Mr. James Bdl, 
shopkeeper, Mill Street ; Saturday evening, preach here also 
and Sund.w morning." 



138 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Wesley preached May i6, 1780, at Kidderminster, where he 
sometimes spent an hour with " that good man Mr. Fawcett." 
On March 22, 1782, he came again from Worcester through 
roads ahiiost impassable with snow. On March 23, 1787, he 
was at Stourport, " a small, new built village," where he speaks 
of Mr. Heath, " a middle-aged clergyman and his wife and two 
daughters, whose tempers and manners, so winning soit, so 
amiably mild, will do him honour wherever they come." 

Again, 20 March, 1788, Wesley went to Stourport, " where," 
he says, " twenty years ago there was but one house ; now 
there are two or three streets ; and as the trade swiftly increases 
it will probably grow into a considerable town. A few years 
since, Mr. Cornell largely contributed to the building of a 
preaching-house here, in which both Calvinists and Arminians 
might preach ; but when it was finished the Arminian preachers 
were totally excluded. Rather than go to law Mr. Cornell built 
another house, both larger and more convenient. I preached 
there at noon to a large congregation, but to a much larger in 
the evening. Several clergymen were present, and were as 
attentive as any of the people. Probably there will be a deep 
work of God at this place. On the 22nd breakfasted at Mr. 
Liste/s in Kiddcyminster, with a few very serious and pious 
friends." 

He was at Stourport for the last time on the i8th March, 
1790, and found it " twice as large as two years ago." He 
died in March, 1791, at the age of nearly 88. 

The Kidderminster Wesleyan Chapel in Mill-street was 
erected in 1803, and enlarged in 1821 : it will seat 600 
persons. 



t 



The Baptist community of Kidderminster is an offshoot from 
that founded at Bewdley in 1646 by the famous John Tombes, 
B.D., the great opponent of Richard Baxter. In 1800 the 
Countess of Huntingdon's chapel in Mill Street was sold to the 
Wesleyans, but a few of its members kept together under the 
leadership of Thomas Price, and met for worship in the private 
house of Catherine Best. In 1807 four of their number were 



THE NONCONFORMISTS. 139 

baptised in tlie meeting-house at Bewdley by Mr. George 
Brooks : these constituted " the church," and in iSog John 
KimberHne's house in The Square (between the Grammar 
School and New Chapel Street) was licensed for worship. In 
1813 a chapel was built in Union Street, of which George 
Griffin, cooper, of Bewdley, was appointed pastor. He was 
succeeded by T. R. Allom 1817, William Downes 1821, Henry 
Smith 1826, J. G. Stephens 1836, John Mills 1841, WiUiam 
Wright 1856, John Henry Jones 1857. In 1862 the present 
pastor, Rev. Thomas Fisk, commenced his ministry, which has 
been so successful that in 1867 a new chapel with seats for 600 
persons was built at a cost of ;^3000, on a site formerly 
belonging to Sir Ralph Clare in Church Street. 



The Roman Catholic mission in Kidderminster was com- 
menced in 1 83 1 b_v tlie Rev. Charles James O'Connor in a 
building in Chapel Street, formerly belonging to the Methodists, 
and now forming part of St. John's Infant Schools. In 1834 a 
new chapel, with accommodation for 240 persons, was erected 
at Leswell. Mr. O'Connor was succeeded by Peter Holland 
1836, Ambrose Courtenay 1853, Alban Craddock 1859, Michael 
Power i86g, James McCave, D.D., 1870, Alfred Hall 1883, and 
Charles Ambrose Wheatley 1885. Father Courtenay obtained 
two years' absence, during which he travelled over the world 
collecting funds for the nev/ church of St. Ambrose, which was 
built in 1858, together with school and residence. It is of 
brick, in the Early English and Decorated styles, and consists 
of nave, chance), aisles, and Lady chapel. There are 400 
sittings. It cost nearly ;^40oo. The east window was erected 
by Dr. McCave, and has figures of SS. Ambrose, Helen, Augus- 
tine, and Thomas of Canterbury. In the Lady chapel is a 
window by Hardman in memory of Mrs. Shepherd. 



The Countess of Huntingdon's plan of 3 ^larcli, 1790, formed 
Worcester, Evesham, and Kidderminster into the twelfth dis- 
trict. In 1800 llieir chapel was sold to the W esleyans, and a 



I40 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

few became Baptists. The rest held together, and, being 
strengthened by a secession from the Old Meeting in 1818 
under Mr. Helmore, were able to build " The Countess of 
Huntingdon's Free Church " in Dudley Street, at a cost of 

;^IIOO. 



The Primitive Methodist Chapel, built in 1824, has 250 
sittings. "Catholic Apostolic" services were held in Oxford 
Street ; and the Christadelphians meet in the Co-operative 
Hall, Worcester Street. The Salvation Army have " barracks" 
near the Horse Fair. 



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THE SCHOOLS. 



141 



CHAPTER \^ I I 



Z\K Scbool£5. 



m. 




HE Grammar School is by far the oldest educa- 
tional institution in the town, but its origin is 
involved in obscurity. The earliest deed is a 
feoffment made by Henry Benton, High Bailiff of 
Kidderminster, and others, conveying lands to the 
school, and bearing date 12 Oct., 20 Elizabeth 
(1578), Sir Edward Blount was another benefactor 8 Jan., 
I Cog. From time immemorial the chantry was used for the 
school, and possibly some of the chantry lands may have been 
given as an endowment. The common seal still in use is dated 
1619, and was affixed to municipal deeds before the present 
borough arms were adopted. In 1636 King Charles I. granted 
a charter, in which he ordered the school to be called by his 
name, and bestowed upon it various privileges. The Corpora- 
tion were made Governors, but administered its affairs so badly 
that they were superseded by a body of Feoffees specially 
appointed for the purpose. The earliest minute book com- 
mences 6 Feb., 1704, with a list of 28 Feoffees. By a new 
scheme drawn up by the Endowed School Commission in 1873, 
the management is vested in 12 Governors, viz. : The Chair- 
man of the Magistrates (ex-ojfficio), four elected by the Town 
Council, three elected by the School Board, and four Co- 
optative. In 1785 masters' houses were built on the west side 
of Church Street close to the churchyard. In 1807 these houses 
were pulled down and converted into gardens, and the new 
houses (still standing) were erected on the opposite side of the 
street. In 1847 the Greenhill Farm of 51 acres, belonging to 
tlie school, was exchanged for Woodheld House and estate, 



142 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

with the new school built thereon. Some ill-feeling was created 
in the town by fears that the town boys would be neglected for 
the sake of the boarders, and litigation ensued. During its 300 
years' existence the school has had a chequered career — the 
numbers having fallen occasionally as low as six — but it has 
sent out many scholars who have done good work in Church 
and State, and the present number of boys is about 80. The 
building has playing fields, gymnasium, and lives - courts 
attached. An annual medal has been endowed by John 
Brinton, Esq., M.P. ; and challenge cups for the " Victor 
Ludonim " and " Senior Fives" have been given by A. F. God- 
son, Esq., M.P., and M. Tomkinson, Esq. Scholarships are 
annually awarded after competition to the best boys from the 
Elementary schools ; and the great want of the school now is a 
scholarship which would enable clever boys of narrow means to 
continue their studies at some place of still higher education. 
The income for 1889 was: — From rents, ;^3 79 8s. iid. ; from 
dividends and interest, ^293 us. ; and from fees, ;^338 135. 8d.: 
total, ^loii 13s. yd. The following is a list of Headmasters 
compiled from the minute books and other sources : — 

[1650] John Pitt. 

[1667] Simon Potter. 

1699 Rev. John Best, M.A. 

1729 Rev. Thomas Cooke. 

1753 Rev. James Cooke. 

1757 Rev. John Martin, M.A. 

1776 Rev. Henry Matthews, B.A. 

1780 Rev. William Miles, M.A. 

1795 Rev. Thomas Morgan, M.A. 

1843 Rev. William Cockin, M.A. 

1852 Rev. George John Sheppard, D.C.L. 

1869 Rev. Lionel Bankes Penley, B.A. (Second Master). 

1873 Frederic Hookham, M.A. 

1885 Rev. John Richard Burton, B.A., F.G.S. 

The Parish Church Schools may be proud of their origin, the 
founder being William Lloyd; Bishop of Worcester, one of the 
famous " Seven Bishops " of English history. At his visitation 
in 1702 he urged the formation of schools in the diocese, and 
promised to add a tenth part to the subscriptions. The Vicar, 
John Howard, was generously helped by the Society for Pro- 
inotmg Christian Knowledge, and soon 50 children were being 



THE SCHOOLS. 143 



taught and partl}^ clothed. Sir Henry Ashurst and Edward 
Harley, Esq., as executors of Richard Baxter, contributed ^20 
from money left by him for charitable purposes. Other bene- 
factors were Madam Rebekah Hussey, Lad}^ Langham, Lady 
Bellamont, James Bruges, Mr. Ligon, the College at Wor- 
cester, Henry Hoare, John Hanbury, John Soley, Harry Gray, 
Sir Thos. Lyttelton, Lord Thanet, Sir John Thornicroft, 
Bowater Vernon, &c. In 1739 James Gilbert left ^50, wliicli 
was laid out in the purchase of the site of some of the present 
school premises. William Brecknell, in 1787. conveyed pro- 
perty exchanged in 1S16 for the Crabtree Close, which in 1X20 
was sold as a site for St. George's Church. William Lea, of 
Stone House, in 1817, gave land on which a new school-room 
was l)uilt. In 1831 the two schools were educating 140 boys 
and 161 girls on the Madras system. 

Simon Potter, Master of the Grammar School, conveved land 
in 1667 to Nevill Simmons and others for a school for the 
children of godly poor parents to be taught to read the Bible 
and say the Assembly's catechism, Elizabeth Bowyer, in 1701, 
left property for the same purpose, and from these two bequests 
the Old Meeting Schools in Orchard Street were founded. 

Samuel White, in 1772, left ;^i50, the interest to be applied 
in teaching six Church children and six Dissenters. 

Nicholas Pearsall, in 1795, " being desirous of promoting the 
welfare of his. fellow-creatures, and persuaded that their welfare 
both in this world and another depended, under Almighty God, 
■on their being taught to practice virtue and abstain from vice, 
resolved to establish a school to teach youth this important 
truth in the first place, and secondly so much of the arts and 
sciences as might enable them to fill up with advantage their 
respective stations in life." This foundation, known as " Pear- 
sell's Grammar School," has since been merged in the " New 
Meeting" Schools. 

The School Board of nine members was established April, 
1871, and has had the following Chairmen : — 

1871 The Rev. G. D. Boyle, M.A. 1S86 Edward Parry, Esq. 
1880 John ]5rinton, PZsq., M.P. 1889 The Rev. S. Phillips, M.V. 

Mr. \\ . M. I\oden, solicitor, is Clerk to the Board. 



144 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ACCOMMODATION, 1890. 



VOLUNTARY SCHOOLS. 



•;: 


Name of School. 




Accommodation. 




Cost of 




Boys. 


Girls. 


Infants. Mixed. 


Total. 


Buildings. 


tin 














1704 


All Saints' (Church- 














fields) 


340 • 


, . 300 


. . — .. — . 


. 640 . , 


, Unknown. 


1873 


All Saints' (Broad 














street) 


— . 


.. — 


.. 297 .. — . 


• 297 .. 


;^IOOO 


1874 


St. Barnabas 














(Franche) . . 


— . 


,. — 


. . — .. 140 . 


. 140 . . 


;^I250* 


1827 


St. George's (Off- 














more Road 


265 . 


. 250 , 


. . 180 .. — ., 


, 695 .. 


Unknown. 


1850 


St. George's (Wor- 














cester Cross) . . 


120 . 


. — . 


. 100 . . — • . 


. 220 . . 


;^I200 


1835 


St. John's (Chapel 














Street) . . . . 


— . 


. — . 


, . 300 . . — . . 


, 300 . . 


Unknown. 


1850 


St. John's (St. John 














Street) . . . . 


310 . 


. — 


.. — .. — .. 


. 310 .. 


Unknown. 


1855) 


St. John's (Brook 












1885) 


Street) . . . . 


— . 


• 357 ■ 


.. — .. — . . 


• 357 •• 


^^1650 


1795 


New Meeting 














(Church Stieet) . 


180 . 


. 180 . 


. — . . — . . 


360 . . 


Unknown. 


1858 


St. Ambrose (Les- 














well) 


100 . 


. 100 , 


. . 100 . . — • . , 


. 300 . . 


Unknown. 


1S53 


Trimpley (Holy 














Trinity) 


— . 


. — . 


,. - .. 36 .. 


36 .. 


Unknown. 


1842 


Stourport 


278 . 


. 246 . 


■ 245 .. — .. 


769 .. 


Unknown. 


1882 


Stourport (St. 














John's) 


— . 


. — . 


. 175 .. — .. 


^75 •• 


Unknown. 


1850 


Wribbenhall 














(National).. 


— . 


. — . 


. 62 . . 140 . . 


202 . . 


Unknown. 


1881 


Wribbenhall 














(British) .. .. 


— . 


. — . 


•• — •• 335 •■ 


3^5 •• 


;^l800 




Total . . . . 


1593 • 


■1433 ■ 


..1459 .. 651 .. 


5136 





Including ;^300 for house, given by M. Tomkinson, Esq. 



THE SCHOOLS. 145 



SCHOOL BOARD. 

° o Accommodation. 



Name of School. 



Cost of 



(^ Ji Boys. Girls. Infants. Mixed. Total, buildings. 



1873 Coventry Street 

1877 Hume Street . . 

1883 Lea Street 

1883 Mill Lane 

Total.. 



304 

129 
153 

SS6 



215 • 


• 233 


— . 


. 121 


129 . 


• 131 


156 . 


. I5G 



— •• 752 .. ^5367 
151 .. 272 .. ^^1740 

— .. 389 .. ;^4282 



500 .. 641 .. 151 ..1878 

The School of Art was originally held in " Commercial 
Buildings ;" but in 1879 Mr. D. W. Goodwin gave the site for 
the new building in Exchange Street. It is in the Early- 
Renaissance style, and Mr. J. M. Gething was the architect. 
It contains a hall 62 feet by 39 feet for 120 students, master's 
and modelling rooms, antique room and painting room, &c. 
Under the able management of Mr. W. Tucker, this institution 
has proved most valuable to the town. 

The School of Science was completed in 1887, at a cost of 
/'4000. It forms the central portion of an intended triple insti- 
tute of Literature, Science, and Art. Only the reading-rooms 
and library are now w^anting to complete the full scheme, which 
is likely soon to be carried to a successful issue. The Public 
Libraries Act has been in operation for some years, and it is 
expected that advantage will be taken of recent legislation to 
place the schools, library, and museum under the fostering care 
of the Corporation, The School of Science contains class- 
rooms for physics and languages, lecture rooms, chemical 
laboratories, dye house, cooking range, and reference library. 
In the rear is a museum 52 feet by 41 feet, with a gallery all 
round it, having excellent light for pictures. Some paintings, 
drawings, fossils, minerals, coins, and curiosities have already 
been presented by local donors ; and these are supplemented by 
a'collection from South Kensington, changed from time to time. 
Mr. W. Ray, F.C.S., is the first Headmaster. The Earl of 
Dudley is President, and G. W. Grosvenor, Esq., B.A., D.L., 
is Chairman, of both schools. In 1887 two " Jubilee Scholar- 
ships " were founded for the most proficient student each year 
in " Art " and in " Science." Mr. Cooper, of Kidderminster, 
in 1888, bequeathed ^284 to each school as the nucleus of an 
rndow nient. 



146 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



CHAPTER VIII 



Z\K (Tharitice. 

T is a delicate task to speak of generous deeds 
in the lifetime of the doers ; so that although 
there are now living among us many men who 
have shown a public spirit equal to that of the 
benefactors of past generations, the details must 
for the most part be left to future times. By the 

help of the Charity Commissioners' Report we record the 

names and mention the gifts of 

SOME BENEFACTORS. 





^^ 


E« 


wi 


r^ 


^M 




^ 



Edmund Brode, of Dunclent (1597). Rent-charge of 65. 8^. 

for poor. 
Sir Edward Blount (1630). Six almshouses. 
Thomas Butcher (1643). £2 12s. annually for bread. 
William Seabright (1620). £-^. os. Hd. annually for bread. 
Thomas Cook, of Bewdley (1693). £2 12s. annually for 

bread. 
John Oldnall. £2 annually for bread. 
Joseph Read, of Atterley. £1 annually for bread. 
Edward Crane, of Hurcott (1820). ;^ioo for bread. 
Dr. John Hall, Bishop of Bristol (1718), ^Tyoo for Bibles. 

By an inquisition taken 20th April, 1641, it was found that 
Thomas Lewes, of Kidderminster, held two barns and little 
closes in Barn Street, 4 acres of arable land lying in one of the 
common or leete fields, called the Church Field (i^ acre near 
the churchyard, one acre near Whorwood Shipton, half an acre 



THE CHARITIES. 147 



near Low Hill Style, and half an acre called W'hitemarsh), 
which lands then were, and time out of mind had been, com- 
monly called by the name of Whitnell's Alms. Other pro- 
perty belonged to the same charity in Ellarne Field, Cole Field 
(near the two gates), &c. [The name " Whytnyll " occurs in 
the Registers as early as 1545.] The High Bailiff was to collect 
the rents, and pay the money to the churchwardens and over- 
seers of the town or foreign tor distribution among the poor. 
With Whitnell's alms, which now produces nearly ^200 per 
annum, arc incorporated gifts left by other donors, viz. : — 

John Gower, of Stone (1641), £1 yearly for poor; 
Edward Mills (1615), £2 yearly for poor ; Elizabeth 
Mills (1626), £2 yearly for poor ; Thomas Dawkes 
(161 1), £1 yearly for poor ; Edward Dawkes (1632), £1 
yearly for poor ; Alice Dawkes (1615), 13s. .\d. yearly 
for poor ; William Bucknell, £^ ; Thomas Burton, 
£^ ; Randell Griffin, 205. ; Henry Benton, £6 13s. 4^'. ; 
Joyce Radford, ^4 ; Hugh Atwill, ^i 65. 8(/. ; William 
MosELEY, £12, 65. M. ; William Child, ^10 ; Nicholas 
Freestone, £10. 

Sir Ralph Clare (1670). Six almshouses, and ^"30 to be 
lent to poor tradesmen. 

Henry Higgins (1684). Four almshouses, and ^12 for poor 
children's shoes and stockings. 

Abraham Plimley (1664). ^3 yearly to one honest person. 

Richard Barker (1665). ;^2oo for apprentices or poor. 

Elizabeth Bowyer (1701). £2, yearly to one poor person. 

Rev. Joseph Read, of Oldswinsford (1709). £^ yearly for a 
poor widow or education of a poor boy. 

Edward Butler (1710). 405. yearly for six poor persons. 

Dr. John Hall, Bishop of Bristol (1708). £s yearly to five 
poor men ; £^ yearly to teach five poor children in the 
Christian religion ; £^ yearly for clothes for aged and 
infirm ; and residue in books to instruct poor persons in 
the Christian religion. 

John Spakkv 11717). £^ 5s. yearly for one poor honest man. 



148 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Thomas Doolittle (1723), Interest of ^50 to one poor 
person. 

Mrs. Mary Glynn, widow of William Greaves (1734). ;^20o 
to be invested in land for repair of William Greaves' 
vault in churchyard, and residue for ten poor ancient and 
decayed women of the Church of England. 

John Waldron. £1 yearly to poor. 

W^HiTiNG. Ten farthing loaves weekly. 

Mrs. Bridgeman. ^50 for bread. 

John Wright (1771). £2^ for ten widows. 

John Brecknell (1776) by his will reciting that there had 
for time immemorial existed in the Church Street a 
certain society for the promotion of friendly intercourse 
among the inhabitants of the street, bequeathed ;^i50 to 
John Watson, Nicholas Penn, and William Lea in trust 
to provide and give to every child or unmarried person, 
or an inhabitant of the Church Street aforesaid, one 
two-penny plumbcake upon the eve of every Midsummer 
day ; and further to provide pipes and tobacco and ale, 
&c., for the entertainment of the male inhabitants which 
should then assemble ; the residue to be given to the 
poor of the street. 

Humphrey Burlton (1645). 405. yearly for poor of the 
foreign. 

Edward Burlton, of Shrawley (1694) gave to the Foreign 
the tenement and nook of land at Netherton on which 
Humphrey Burlton had previously charged the 405. 
There were other charities which are supposed to be lost. 

With the changed circumstances of the times and the 
improved administration of the Poor-laws, the old dole system 
of charities often does more harm than good, and the beneficent 
spirit of later years has run in new channels. 

In 1 82 1 the Dispensary was founded near the churchyard : 
tens of thousands were benefited by it ; and it led to the erec- 
tion in 1870 of a spacious and handsome Infirmary at the top 
of Mill Street, costing ;^io,ooo, of which the memorial stone 
w^as laid by the Countess of Dudley. In 1886 the fever wmg 



THE CHARITIES. 149 



was transformed into a Children's Hospital, the cost being 
defrayed by Thomas Lea, Esq., M.P. The average yearly 
number of in-patients is 420, and of out-patients 1500. The 
President for 1890 is S. Stretton, Esq. The honorary surgeons 
are E. H. Addenbrooke, Esq., W. H. Moore, Esq., Dr. Preston, 
and J. L. Stretton, Esq. 

A thriving town has generally to pay a penalty for its success 
in the rapid seizure of all its open spaces for building purposes ; 
and soon monotonous rows of houses shut out every vestige of 
nature, forcing the little children to play their games in the 
dangerous streets. Well would it be if Corporations could in 
good time secure a plot of ground in each proposed street, plant 
it with trees, and leave it open for the recreation of the district. 
Future generations will appreciate even more than the present 
the generous foresight of one of Kidderminster's most energetic 
sons in presenting to his native town the " Brinton Park " of 
24 acres. It has been tastefully laid out, and each succeeding 
year will add to its beauty. Mr. Brinton was born 25 Jan., 
1827, and has been one of the foremost men of his time in 
raising the special industry of the town to its pre-eminent rank. 
He has also devoted much time and his great business expe- 
rience to the public affairs of the borough. He was member of 
the School Board (1871 — 1886), Chairman of the School of Art 
(1863 — 1889), Borough Magistrate (1856), County Magistrate 
(1876), and is still Chairman of the Board of Guardians. In 

1889 he was appointed High Sheriff of Worcestershire ; and in 

1890 was unanimously chosen an Alderman ot the County 
Council. In 1880 he was elected Member of Parliament for 
Kidderminster (page 84), but retired in 1886 after a serious 
illness. He has also presented to the town a handsome clock 
tower and drinking fountain. 

John H. Crane, Esq., of Oakhampton, whose family have 
been for centuries connected with the neighbourhood, and who 
was High Sheriff of the count}- in 1S.S8, has made a generous 
offer to hand over the lovely " Habberley Valley " to the 
Corporation for tlie perpetual use oi the town. 



I50 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



CHAPTER IX, 



^be Celebrities. 




ICHARD KIDDERMINSTER, D.D., was born 
here in the latter half of the fifteenth century. 
When about 15 years of age he was received into 
the Benedictine monastery at Winchcombe, in 
Gloucestershire. After four years' , study at 
Gloucester Hall, Oxford, he was recalled to the 
monastery, and made principal chaplain, and in 1487 was 
chosen Abbot. He had considerable reputation as a 
scholar and a promoter of learning, and was a reformer of the 
discipline of his house. He took the degree of D.D. at Oxford 
in 1500. He also visited Rome on some business pertaining to 
his order, and on his return acquired much reputation as a 
preacher in the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII. In 1515 
Abbot Kidderminster contended in a famous debate that 
"benefit of clergy" should be extended to the minor orders. 
In 152 1 he wrote Tractatus contra doctrinam Ltitheyi. His best 
work was a History of Winchcombe Monastery ; a List of its Abbots, 



and its Charters and Privileges. 



He died m 1531. 



Richard Jervyes, born in Kidderminster of mean parents, 
was apprenticed in London, became wealthy, and was made an 
Alderman of the City. He purchased the manor of Bedcote 
Stourbridge in 1538 (Nash, ii., 209), and was grandfather of 
Sir Thomas Jervois, Kt., who sold the manor in 1625 to 
Nicholas Sparry, Esq. 

Sir Ralph Clare, of Caldwell, eldest son of Sir Francis 
Clare, was a famous old Cavalier, and might have stood for the 
portrait of Sir Peveril of the Peak. He was for many years 
lessee of the manor of Bewdley under the Crown, and repre- 



THE CELEBRITIES. 151 

sented the borough in the Parhaments of 1623-5-6-8. In 1624 
he bestowed a buck upon the Bayhff and Burgesses, when 
£^ 135. 4^. was spent " for making five pasties thereof, and for 
other meat provided when it was eaten, and for wine." He 
was " servant " to Prince Henry, and was made a Knight of 
the Bath at the Coronation of Charles I. When the charter 
was granted to Kidderminster in 1636 he was named first High 
Steward of tlie new created borough. He was a dignified and 
courteous gentleman, plain and downright in speech, but kindly 
in heart and ready to help, the founder of six almshouses, and 
the donor of money to lend to poor tradesmen. As a zealous 
Royalist he spent much of his fortune in the King's cause, was 
taken prisoner at the battle of Worcester, and was committed 
to Worcester gaol in 1655. As an earnest Churchman he dis- 
approved of Richard Baxter's innovations ; but liis firmness of 
principle and courtesy of behaviour led even his great opponent 
to draw a pleasing picture of the noble old man. " One knight 
Sir Ralph Clare, who lived at Kidderminster, did more to 
hinder my greater successes than a multitude of others could 
have done, though he was an old man of great courtship and 
civility, and very temperate as to diet, apparel, and sports, and 
seldom would swear any louder than by his troth, and shewed 
me much personal reverence and respect beyond my desert, and 
we conversed together with much love and familiarity, yet 
having no relish of this prtciseness and extemporary praying ; 
his coming but once a day to church on the Lord's-day, and 
his abstaining from the sacrament, wdiich he refused to receive, 
unless I would give it to him kneeling and not sitting, as if we 
kept not sufficiently to the old way, did cause a great part of 
the parish to follow him, and do as he diil. And yet civility, 
and yielding niucli l)eyond others of his party, sending his 
family to be catechised and personally instructed, did sway 
"with the worst among us to do the like." Sir Ralph is buried 
in All Saints' church under a slab close to Lady Beauchamp's 
tomb. The arms are Three chevrons, crest a buck's head cabost. 
" The memory of the just shall be blessed. * ■'= zealous in 
his loyalty to his prince, exemplary in his charity to the dis- 
tressed, and of known integrity unto all nun, full of days and 
fame, he departed this life in the fourscore and fourth year of 



152 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER, 

his age, 2ist April, 1670." Caldwell continued in the Clare 
family till 1777. 

John Somers, baptized here 26 Nov., 1620, was son of 
Richard Somers, Low Bailiff of Kidderminster, by his wife 
Joice Child, a member of an old Kidderminster family (buried 
in All Saints' churchyard 26 Aug., 1626). He was brought up 
an attorney, and lived chiefly at the White Ladies, near Wor- 
cester, " where he was instrumental and assistant to Bishop 
Fell in recovering the rents of St. Oswald's Hospital for the 
poor men and women." He and his wife (Catherine Severne) 
were buried in Severn Stoke church, where there is a marble 
monument to their memory erected by their son, John Lord 
Somers, Lord Chancellor, one of the most famous natives of 
the county, who defended the " Seven Bishops " and drew up 
the Bill of Rights. John Somers' elder daughter Mary married 
Charles Cocks, Esq., M.P., of W^orcester, and is ancestress of 
the present Earl Somers, the Earl of Hardwicke, and Earl 
Beauchamp. His younger daughter Elizabeth married Sir 
Joseph Jekyll, Master of the Rolls. John Somers had also a 
sister Mary, baptized at Kidderminster 8 July, 1624, and 
married to Richard Blurton, Esq., who purchased the White 
Ladies. The Registers give the following additional records of 
the family : — 

1658 Sept. 6 married Thomas Sommairs of Worcester and Rebecka 
Climar. 

166J Feb. 28 buried Rebeckath wife of Thomas Somars of Worcester. 

1669 buried Ann daughter of John Sumers and Ann. 

Robert Cooper, M.A., was the son of Robert Cooper, of 
Kidderminster. He entered as a servitor at Pembroke College, 
Oxford, where in 1666 he took his degree, and was made Fellow 
of his College. He proved a good scholar and preacher, and 
was well skilled in mathematics ; and by the favour of John 
Lord Ossulton, he became Rector of a parish near Kingston- 
upon-Thames, Surrey. He wrote Pyoportions concerning Optic 
Glasses and A General Introduction to Geography of much merit. In 
the 81 St year of his age (1731) he put up a monument to his 
parents in Kidderminster church. (P. 92.) 




SIK J\AI.1'|[ n.AK'K. Knkiiii- of the Ji.vTH. 
(From an Old Print.) 



THE CELEBRITIES. 153 



Edmund Waller (1605 — 1687) is a singular and jiiquant 
figure in the seventeentli century — a poet, courtier, and water- 
drinker among the bibulous Restoration wits. lie was born 
at Coleshill, Herts, of an ancient family. His mother, an 
ardent Royalist, was connected by blood with Hampden, and 
by marriage with Cromwell. His father died when he was 11 
years old, and at 16 he entered Parliament. Soon he married 
a rich widow, retired to his estate at Beaconsfield, and studied 
literature. He was the owner of The Hall, a handsome brick 
house near Kidderminster church, as well as of the hamlets of 
Hurcott and Comberton. In 1635 he sold The Hall to Daniel 
Dobbins, Esq., of London ; and a few years later (1643) he dis- 
posed of his other property here. Hurcott was bought by 
George Evelyn, who resold it in 1648 to his famous brother 
John, of Wotton and Sayes Court, one of the founders of the 
Royal Society, and author or translator of 30 works, including 
Sylva, and whose Diaiy is so well known. John Evelyn soon 
afterwards sold it to Colonel John Bridges for ;^34oo. Waller 
was arrested by order of P^ari May 31, 1645, for complicity in a 
plot against the Parliament. By turning informer he saved his 
life, but was fined ^10,000 and banished. He lived at Paris 
till 1654, when Cromwell allowed him to return, and he com- 
posed a lofty panegyric in his praise. At the Restoration he 
expressed his joy in a poem " Upon His Majesty's Happy 
Return." He met the King's complaint that his congratulation 
was inferior to his panegyric with the famous retort, " Poets, 
sire, succeed better in fiction than truth." He entered Parlia- 
ment again, and became the delight of the House by his lively 
sayings. Pie died in 1687, aged 82. (National Biography.) 

Andrew Yarranton was born at Larford, in the parish of 
Astley, 1616. Several members of his family were bailiffs of 
Bewdley. In his sixteenth year he was apprenticed to a Wor- 
cester linen draper. When the civil wars broke out he joined 
the Parliamentary army, and rose to be captain. In 1652 he 
began manufacturing iron at Ashley, near Bewdley. At the 
Restoration he was imprisoned for a time. As soon as he 
regained his liberty he formetl })lans for ini|>in\ing inland navi- 
gation. His fust sclicine was to deepen the Salwarpe, and 

T 



154 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

connect Droitwich with the Severn : this was not carried out. 
His next design was to make the Stour navigable, and join it 
by a canal with the Trent. Some progress was made with this 
undertaking. The Registers mention that " Coales were 
brought by Boates to ye Town on ye gth of March 1665." 
Some of the barges used in this navigation have since been 
discovered imbedded in mud. Yarranton was in advance of 
his age, and the scheme then came to a stand still for want of 
money : though it was carried out more than 100 years later by 
James Brindley at a cost of £10^,000. Yarranton 's fertile 
brain was busy devising plans for the good of his country. He 
introduced clover seed, and supplied it largely to the farmers 
of the western counties, whence it soon became adopted 
throughout the country. He then went to Saxony and learnt 
the art of making tin plates, but some patent was " trumpt up," 
and he was not allowed to continue his operations. In 1677 he 
published the first part of his England's Improvement by Sea and 
Land : to Outdo the Dutch withont Fighting, and Pay Debts without 
Money, wherein " he chalks out the future course of Britain 
with as free a hand as if second-sight had revealed to him those 
expansions of her indiistrial career which never fail to surprise 
us, even w'hen we behold them realised." Inland navigation, 
harbours, the extension of the iron and woollen trades, the 
linen manufacture, a public bank, fisheries, a land registry, 
employment of the poor, a plan for preventing fires in London, 
&c., all were well thought out by him ; but " his voice sounded 
among the people like that of one crying in the wilderness." 
His name and his writings have been nearly forgotten, though 
Bishop Watson said that he ought to have had a statue erected 
to his memory because of his eminent public services. The 
reader will find a fuller account of this remarkable man in 
Chapter IV. of Dr. Smiles' Industrial Biography. 

Thomas Foley w-as born at Kidderminster, and baptized 
12 Nov., 1673. Hs showed great aptitude in learning, and also 
very much improved himself in the knowledge of men and 
things by his travels beyond sea for several years. On his 
return in 1695 he was elected M.P. for Stafford. He distin- 
guished himself in a becoming regard for his religion, his Prince, 



THE CELEBRITIES. 155 



and his country, in consideration whereof he was (Dec. 31, 171 1) 
created Baron Foley of Kidderminster. He married Mary, 
daughter and sole heir of Thomas Strode, Esq., serjeant-at-law, 
by whom he had issue four sons and two daughters. He died 
22 Jan., 1733, and was buried at Witley, where an elegant 
marble monument is erected. A younger brother, Edward 
Foley, was also baptized at Kidderminster 23 Sept., 1676. He 
was several times elected M.P. for Droitwich, and died April, 
1747. Richard Foley was born here 19 Feb., 1681 : he was 
one of the protonotaries of the Court of Common Pleas, and 
M.P. for Droitwich. He died unmarried, 27 March, 1732. 
Anne Foley, who married Sahvay Winnington, Esq., of Stan- 
ford Court, was baptized at Kidderminster 28 March, 1670. 
Mary Foley (baptized 14 Jan., 1678) married Sir Blundel 
Charlton, Bart., of Ludford, near Ludlow. 

John Jones, schoolmaster, of Kidderminster, wrote The New 
Art of Spelling, Lond., 1704, 4to. 

Joseph Williams, " the Christian Merchant," was born at 
Kidderminster Nov. 16, 1692, and was son of a " clothier " who 
lived in Church Street. He was educated at the Grammar 
School, where he acquired a good knowledge of Latin and 
Greek. He married (1719) Phoebe, sister of the Rev. Richard 
Pearsall. He was a man of eminent piety, as is well shown in 
his life and writings, edited by the Rev. B, Fawcett and 
Benjamin Hanbury. In 1745 he was one of a band of about 
100 volunteers who associated to defend their country against 
the invasion of the Young Pretender, and who were accoutred 
chiefly at his expense. He died 21 Dec, 1755, aged 63, and 
was buried on the north side of Kidderminster cliurchyard. 

The Rev. Richard Pearsall, born at Kidderminster 29 Aug., 
1698, was educated at Tewkesbury, and became a minister at 
Bromyard for ten years, and then at Warminster sixteen years. 
In 1747 he settled at Taunton, where he died 10 Nov., 1762. 
He edited the diary of his sister Hannah (Mrs. Housman). He 
also wrote Contemplations on the Ocean. Two volumes of Rcliquics 
Sacra of Mr. Pearsall were edited by Tliomas Gibbons, D.D., 



156 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



and a brief account oi him, with portrait, is in the Evangelical 
Magazine for October, 1810. 

John Baskerville was born at Sion Hill, Wolverley. In 
the Parish Register we find this entry : — " 1706. John y^ son of 
John Baskervile by Sara his wife was baptised January y'^ 28." 
When 20 years of age he went to Birmingham, and taught 
wa-iting and book-keeping. In 1737 he kept a school in the 
Bull Ring. In 1740 he started at 22, Moor Street, as a manu- 
facturer of japanned goods, by which he made a considerable 
income. He then took a lease of a small estate of 8 acres, on 
which he built a house, and " made a little Eden." About 1750 
he began type founding; but it was not till 1757 that the 
famous 4to Virgil appeared — " the first of those magnificent 
editions which went forth to astonish all the librarians of 
Europe." (Macaulay.) In 1763 was published his famous 
Bible, one of the finest ever printed. He also brought out fine 
editions of the Prayer Book, Greek Testament, Milton, and 
several classical authors. He died 8 Jan., 1775, and, being an 
infidel, directed his body to be buried in his garden. His works 
are still prized. " Every book was a masterpiece ; a gem of 
typographic art. Baskerville's type was remarkably clear and 
elegant. His paper was of a very fine thick quality, but rather 
yellow in colour. His ink had a rich purple black tint." 
(Printers' Register, 6 Jan., 1876.) 

William Greaves, citizen of London, settled in Kidder- 
minster about 171 7, and started the manufacture of striped 
tameys and prunellas, and afterwards of various kinds of figured 
and flowered stuffs, such as starrets, barley corns, &c., and the 
trade made a considerable figure in foreign markets. His tomb, 
of very durable stone, may still be seen in the churchyard. 
The arms are an eagle displayed impaling a lion rampant, with 
inscription : — " Here lie the remains of Mr. W'illiam Greaves, 
citizen and weaver of London, whose generous endeavours for 
the benefit of the trade of this place procured him esteem while 
living and his death sincerely lamented. He was a dutiful son, 
a loving husband, a sincere friend, a loyal subject, and a good 
christian. He departed this life 28th July 1725 in the 53rd 



THE CELEBRITIES. 157 



year of his age. Mrs. Elizabeth Greaves his mother 17 Sept. 
1729 aged 89." 

Job Orton, a famous Dissenting divine (1717 — 1783), was 
resident at Kidderminster for 17 years. He wrote a life of 
Baxter, and another of Dr. Doddridge, wherein occurs the 
epigram on the motto Dum vivimus viiiiainus, mentioned b}^ Dr. 
Johnson as one of the finest in the EngHsh language : — 

" Live while you live, the Epicure would say, 
And seize the pleasures of the present day : 
Live while you live, the sacred Preacher cries, 
And give to God each moment as it flies. 
Lord, in my views let both united be, 
I live in pleasure while I live in Thee." 

James Johnstone, M.D., was fourth son of John Johnstone, 
Esq., of Galabank, an ancient branch of the Jolinstones " of 
that ilk." He was born at Anandale April 14, 1730, and 
received the degree of M.D. in Edinburgh University 1750. In 
1 75 1 he settled as a physician at Kidderminster, where he soon 
gained a great reputation in his profession. He published An 
Historical Dissertation concerning the Malignant Epidemic Fever of 1 756, 
from which he appears to have been the first to generate hydro- 
chloric acid gas as a means of destroying contagion b}' pouring 
sulphuric acid on conmion salt. In the 54th volume of the 
Phil. Trans, he published the first sketch of his opinions of the 
uses of the ganglions of the nerves. He attended George the 
" good " Lord Lyttelton in his last illness, " and was not only 
his physician but his confessor." He also wrote treatises 
on Angina, Scarlet Fever, The Slave Trade, Hydrophobia, Sec, for 
which he was voted the honorary medal of tlie Medical Society, 
He sent much information about Kidderminster to Dr. Nash 
for his History of Worcestershire. He died at Worcester 28 April, 
1802, in the 73rd year of his age. A monument was erected in 
Worcester Cathedral, but he was buried in Kidderminster 
churchyard, 

James Johnstone, M.D., son of the above and of Hannah 
daughter of Mr. Henry Crane, of Kidderminster, was born here 
August, 1754. He was educated at the Grammar School under 



158 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

the Rev. John Martin, and graduated as M.D. at Edinburgh in 
1 773- Next year he was unanimously chosen a physician to 
the Worcester Infirmary, and soon reached great eminence in 
his profession. When called on by the Magistrates of Wor- 
cester to visit the prisons, where many laboured under the gaol 
fever, he went into cells and dungeons full of pestilential con- 
tagion, and his life fell a sacrifice to duty. He was seized with 
the dire contagion, and was conveyed to his father's house in 
Kidderminster, there to receive the last attention of parental 
skill and affection. He died i6 Aug., 1783, and was buried in 
Worcester Cathedral, where on a tablet is an inscription to his 
memory from the classical pen of Dr. Parr. John Howard, the 
philanthropist, mentions this sad case as " one incentive to my 
endeavours for the extirpation of the gaol fever out of our 
prisons." (Chambers' Biography.) 

Edward Johnstone, M.D., born at Kidderminster 1757, was 
the third son of Dr. James Johnstone. He settled at Birming- 
ham, where he soon became the first physician of the Midland 
Counties, He served the General Hospital for 22 years, and 
acquired the highest professional and social position. He 
retired early, and enjoyed a ripe old age at Edgbaston Hall. 
His principal works were on puerperal fever and hydrophobia. 
He died at the great age of 94 in 1851. (Tunmins' Warwick- 
shire.) 

John Johnstone, M.D., F.R.S., F.R.C.P., &c., was brother 
of the above, born here 1767. He was not only professionally 
famous, but scientifically also. He was a personal friend of 
Dr. Parr, whose life and works he wrote and edited. His works 
on Mineral Poisons, on Medical Jurisprudence, and on Madness : 
Hereditary and Partial, are excellent proofs of his skill and know- 
ledge. He died near Birmingham in 1836, aged 69. (Ibid.) 

Thomas Wright Hill (1763 — 1853) was born at Kidder- 
minster. His earliest tastes were scientific, largely influenced 
by Ferguson's lectures when he was only nine years old. He 
was first apprenticed to a brassfounder in Birmingham ; but 
the work was uncongenial, and his experience as a Sunday- 



THE CELEBRITIES. 159 

school teacher under Dr. Priestley led him to devote himself to 
teaching. He established first the Hill Top School in Birming- 
ham, and afterwards the Hazelwood School at Edgbaston, 
where many eminent men received their early training, and 
pupils came to him from all parts of Europe. He had a 
very remarkable and original power of interesting boys. He 
made his school a small republic, and trained the boys for the 
work of life. He encouraged manual labour, as well as games 
and sports. He not only proposed a magazine, but the l)i)\s 
printed and illustrated it also, and many etchings and earlv 
lithographs were produced. His five sons trained by him had 
most successful careers. The third was Sir Rowland, of the 
Post Office ; Matthew Davenport was an eminent jurist ; 
Edwin, at the Stamp Office, made maiiy inventions ; F"rederick 
was an inspector of prisons ; and Arthur carried on the school 
at Bruce Castle, Tottenham, after Hazelwood was closed. He 
died in 1853, full ot honours as well as years, and has been 
remembered by three generations of pupils and friends, who 
owe to his teaching and example the culture and success of 
their lives. (Timmins' Waywicks/iiye.J 

Lant Carpenter, LL.D., born at Kidderminster 2 Sept., 
1780, was third son of George Carpenter (died 12 Feb., 1839, 
aged 91), carpet manufacturer, by his wife, Mary Hooke (cbed 
21 March, 1835, aged 83). Ann Lant was the maiden name of 
George Carpenter's mother. The father failed in business, and 
removed from Kidderminster, but Lant was left behind with 
his mother's guardian, Nicholas Pearsall, who a(loj)ted him 
with a view to his becoming a minister. Pearsall was a strong 
Unitarian of much practical benevolence, and had fouiukd a 
school in Kidderminster, at which Lant received his early edu- 
cation. In 1797 he entered the Dissenting Acadenu- at 
Northampton under John Horsey. This was broken u]), and 
he then went to Glasgow University. In 1801 he became 
assistant in the school of his connection, the Rev. John (^orrie, 
at Birch's Green, near IJinniiigham. I'rom i.Soa to 1.S05 he 
held the librarianship of the Li\erjH)()l Alluiiaaiin. Oii 9 J.iii., 
1805, he accepted a co-pastorate at George's Meeting, Exeter. 
He brought out next year a pojuilar manual of N.T. ( Icoi^raj ihy. 



i6o A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Applying to Glasgow in 1806 for M.A. by special grace, he was 
at once made LL.D. In 1817 he removed to Lewin's Mead 
Chapel, Bristol, on the retirement of Dr. Estlin. The congre- 
gation was large and wealthy, but had lost cohesion. Carpenter 
drew its various elements together, developed its religious and 
philanthropic life, and gave it a hold upon the neglected classes 
of society. Of Carpenter's own catechumens, a considerable 
number, including' some of his favourite pupils, ultimately 
joined the Church of England. Many of the sterner Uni- 
tarians regarded his influence as too evangelical. The rite of 
baptism he rejected altogether as a superstition, substituting 
a form of infant dedication. In 1833 the Rajah Rammohun 
Roy, in whose monotheistic movement Dr. Carpenter was 
strongly interested, died at Bristol, and he preached his funeral 
sermon. He gave up his school in 1829. James Martineau 
was one of his pupils. No master was ever more adored by his 
scholars, or more effective in the discipline of character. Till 
1836 he took a leading part in all public work in Bristol, and 
was one of the chief organisers of the Literary and Philosophical 
Institution in 1822. By 1839 his constitution was completely 
exhausted under his unsparing labours. He was recommended 
to travel on the Continent, but was drowned on the night of 
5 April, 1840, while going by steamer from Leghorn to Mar- 
seilles. He was not missed till morning, and it is supposed that 
he was washed overboard. His body was cast ashore two 
months afterwards near Porto d'Anzio, and was buried on the 
beach. He married 25 Dec., 1805, a daughter (died 19 June, 
1856) of James Penn, of Kidderminster, and had six children, 
of whom the eldest was Mary, the distinguished philanthropist, 
the chief organiser of industrial schools and the friend of Indian 
education. The fourth was Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S., 
Registrar of London University, and a famous physiologist, 
who left five sons, including W. Lant Carpenter, B.Sc, and 
Dr. P. H. Carpenter, F.R.S. The youngest son, Philip Pearsall 
Carpenter, B.A., was at first a minister at Warrington, but is 
best known as a conchologist. The other son, Russell Lant, 
was his biographer. Dr. Lant Carpenter's works were — (i) 
Unitarianism the Doctrine of the Gospel ; (2) Systematic Education ; 
(3) An Examination, of the Charges made against Unitarians by Rt. 



THE CELEBRITIES. i6i 



Rev. Dv. Magee ; (4) Principles of Education ; (5) A Harmony of 
the Gospels ; and (6) Sermons on Practical Subjects. [These facts 
are chiefly taken from the National Biography.] A marble 
monument is erected to his memory in the New Meeting, 
Kidderminster. 

Sir Josiah Mason, Kt., was born in All!! Street 23 Feb., 
1795, of humble parentage. The family apparently had been 
long settled m Kidderminster, for the name occurs in the 
Registers as early as 1559. The future philanthropist had a 
hard uphill struggle, and was obliged to commence his indus- 
trial career at the age of eight by selling cakes and vegetables 
in the streets. When about 21 years old he removed to Bir- 
mingham, where after several trials and disappointments 
prosperity at length dawned upon him. His greatest difficulty 
was to save his first five pounds : when this was done the rest 
was comparatively easy. Through the kind offices of Mr. 
Heeley, a steel toy manufacturer, he was engaged by Samuel 
Harrison to superintend a manufactory for the production of 
split rings, of which, when only twelve months had elapsed, he 
became the purchaser at the price of ^500, a sum he was 
enabled to pa}^ out of the profits of the first year. Harrison had 
made for Dr. Priestley the first steel pens recorded. Mason 
saw that these rude efforts could be improved, and that pens 
could easily be made by machinery. In conjunction with Mr. 
James Perry, he took up this new branch of industry, which 
prospered wonderfully, and laid the foundation of a splendid 
fortune for the Kidderminster carpet weaver's son. About 
1840 he joined the Messrs. Elkington, and brought ;^8o,ooo to aid 
in developing their patents for electrotyping. Wealth flowed 
in upon him, until the very disposal of it in the future became 
a subject of anxious deliberation between himself and his wife 
(Annie Griffiths), for they were childless, and he had not a 
relative in the world. So they resolved to make desolate 
orphans heirs to part of their accumulated wealth ; and the 
friendless widows and homeless spinsters were not forgotten. 
In 1858 he established at Erdiiigton an almshouse for 30 women 
and an orphanage for 50 girls. Soon afterwards a new 
orphanage was erected in the same village at a cobt of ;^6o,ooo, 
u 



i62 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



and endowed with property worth ;^2oo,ooo. In 1874 ^^ ^^^^ 
enlarged so as to render it capable of accommodating 300 girls, 
150 boys, and 50 infants. The original orphanage has been 
devoted to the purpose of an almshouse, with which is com- 
bined a houie for girls who have gone into domestic service 
from the orphanage, but are temporarily out of a situation. 
Some of the orphans are always to be chosen from Kidder- 
minster. The " Mason Science College " in Birmingham was 
opened 23 Feb., i(S8o. About ;^6o,ooo was spent on the 
building, and the total endowment is estimated at nearly 
^250,000. Sir Josiah, upon whom the Queen bestowed the 
honour of knighthood in 1872, died 16 June, 1881, in the 87th 
year of his age. He was buried in a mausoleum by the side of 
his wife in the orphanage grounds at Erdington. A marble 
statue of him is erected near his College in Birmingham. 
(Worcester Journal, Kidderminster Shuttle, &c.) 

Sir Rowland Hill, K.C.B., D.C.L., F.R.S., &c., was born 
Dec. 3rd, 1795, in Blackwell Street, Kidderminster, in a house 
that had belonged to at least three generations of his family. 
In the time of Edward I. John Hill (de Monte ) held a messuage 
and hall a virgate of land in Comberton. The name appears 
in the Registers in 1539 — the first year recorded. The distinc- 
tive Christian name also occurs in 1628, June 3d : — " Baptized 
Marryan daughter of Rowland Hill and Mary." From his 
father, Thomas Wright Hill, Sir Rowland is thought to have 
acquired the largeness of his conceptions, but from the judicious 
training of his mother (Sarah Lea) he imbibed more important 
qualities — firmness and shrewdness, patience and prudence. 
When he was five years old the French war ruined his father's 
manufacture, and he left Kidderminster for Wolverhampton, 
In 1802 Thomas Hill gave up trade, and started a school at 
Hill Top, Birmingham. Here Rowland was a school-boy, but 
in his twelfth year he became an assistant master. The 
straightened circumstances in which his family found them- 
selves in his early days did nuich to develop in him the 
important quality of self-help. He worked at mathematics, 
navigation, astronomy, architecture, electricity, &c., with great 
zest. " Most of all was he indebted for that first of all know- 




SIR ROWLAND HILL, K.C.B., D.C.L., I- R.S., ^c. 



'B 'I'n at Kiddcyininster Dec. 3, ijysj 



THE CELEBRITIES. 163 

ledge, the knowledge of self, to an eminent physician, Dr. 
Johnstone (see page 158), who had engaged him to give lessons 
to his son. ' I heard matters talked of which I could not in the 
least understand. This discovery of my ignorance was at first 
very painful to me, and set me to work very hard.' " In con- 
junction with some friends he formed a " Society for Scientific 
and Literary Improvement." In 1822 Rowland and his elder 
brother Matthew brought out Plans for the Government and Liberal 
Education of Boys in Large Numbers. Drawn from Experience. In 
this work is set forth a complete scheme for the government of 
a large school on a novel plan. He gave his pupils a constitu- 
tion, and established a court of justice, of which the boys were 
themselves the officials. When a boy above 12 left the school 
a sub-committee drew up his character, entered it in a book 
kept for the purpose, and it was read aloud before the whole 
school. Counters were given for " voluntary labour," so as to 
stimulate all tastes — working the printing-press, penmanship, 
drawing, etching, painting, music, modelling, learning orations 
and poetry, reports of lectures, debates, &c., composition in 
prose and verse. Fights were common at first. The plan 
adopted as a remedy was this : For six hours every attempt 
was made to appease the boys : if all was in vain the other boys 
were kept in school while the two combatants settled the 
matter in the presence of a master as marshal of the lists. 
Fighting was soon unknown. The system was of a highly 
stimulating character, but from Rowland's eagerness and great 
inventive powers the rules of the school were in a state of 
continual flux. The publication of Public Education aroused 
much attention to their work. Distinguished philosophers, 
such as Jeremy Bentham, Joseph Hume, Grote, Brougham, De 
Quincey, Malthus, Dr. Gilchrist, &c., crowded to the scene, and 
the school almost at one bound sprang into fame. The book 
was translated into foreign languages, and a similar system was 
tried in other lands. Men of rank and learning sent their 
children to be educated at " Hazelwood "—a house which the 
Hills had built when Hill Top became too small for the 
increased number of scholars. In 1826 a sucker from Hazel- 
wood — now well known as the Bruce Castle School — was 
planted m London. Here Rowland brought home liis bride. 



1 64 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Caroline daughter of Mr. Pearson, of Wolverhampton, and 
here he spent the first six years of his wedded life. Nothing in 
the biography of the Hill family is more interesting than the 
wonderful feeling of unity and the spirit of co-operation which 
prevailed among them. " As they trusted each other for aid in 
case of need, so at all times did they look to each other for 
counsel. The affairs of all were known to each. At every 
important turn each sought the judgment of all." By 1833 the 
strain of teaching had begun to tell so severely upon Rowland's 
health that he had to give up the work and travel abroad. The 
territory of South Australia — then a waste — was about to be 
colonised under the auspices of Mr. E. G. Wakefield, who 
offered him the post of secretary in England, This he accepted, 
and occupied it for four years with " conspicuous success." 
His brother Matthew had been elected Member for Hull, and 
aided materially in getting an Act of Parliament authorising 
the colonisation. In January, 1837, Rowland drew up the 
famous pamphlet on Post-office Reform, which brought him into 
contact with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Spring Rice. 
All his knowledge of the postal service was derived from 
Parliamentary reports. The charge for conveyance of a letter 
from London to Edinburgh was 15. i^d. ; but from Hill's calcu- 
lations it appeared that the actual cost for this distance of 400 
miles was to the Government only one thirty-sixth part of a 
penny. " Hence," he says, " I came to the important conclu- 
sion that the existing practice of regulating the amount of 
postage by the distance over which an inland letter was con- 
veyed, however plausible in appearance, had no foundation in 
principle ; and that consequently the rates of postage should be 
irrespective of distance. I scarcely need add that this discovery, 
as startling to myself as it could be to any one else, was the 
basis of the plan which has made so great a change in postal 
affairs." In his pamphlet he advocated the use of stamped 
covers for the prepayment of letters — a plan first suggested by 
Mr. Charles Knight. For the benefit of illiterate persons 
Rowland made the happy suggestion of the adhesive stamp, 
now used throughout the world : " A bit of paper just large 
enough to bear the stamp, and covered at the back with a 
glutinous wash, which the bringer might, by applying a little 



THE CELEBRITIES. 165 

moisture, attach to the back of the letter." Hill's scheme of 
penny postage was at first treated by the heads of the Post- 
office with contempt. The Postmaster-General declared that 
" of all the wild and visionary schemes which he had ever heard 
or read of, it was the most extraordinary." For two years the 
strongest opposition was given to the plan ; but public opinion 
soon began to speak out loudly in its favour, and in May, 1838, 
a deputation, consisting of 150 Members of Parliament, urged 
the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, to adopt it. On 17 Aug., 
1839, the Bill for establishing the Penny Postage received the 
Royal assent, and on Sept. 16th following Mr, Hill received an 
appointment in the Treasury, at a salary of ^1500, to enable 
him to carry it out. On 10 Jan., 1840, the penny postage was 
extended to the whole kingdom. The issue of stamps, or " bits 
of sticking plaster for dabbing on to letters " as they were 
derisively called, began on May ist. The " M already enve- 
lope " caused so much ridicule that nearly all the issue was 
destroyed. Difficulties innumerable sprang tip connected with 
the forgery and incomplete obliteration of stamps, the cumbrous 
routine of the old officials, the increased expenditure caused at 
first by the introduction of railways, &c. ; but Rowland Hill's 
energy and inventive genius surmounted them all. In 1842, 
owing to a change in the Ministry, he was dismissed from his 
ofiice. He was soon appointed managing director and then 
chairman of the Brighton Railway Company, of which the 
afTairs were in an unsatisfactory state. W'Ikmi he took office in 
1843 the £^0 shares were as low as ^35. In 1845 they had 
risen to ^75. At his suggestion two institutions were adopted 
till then unknown, viz., excursion trains and express trains. In 
1846, as a national benefactor, he was presented with a cheque 
for ;^i 3,000, and in the same year was reinstated in the Post- 
■ ofiice as secretary to the Postmaster-General. In 1854 he was 
appointed sole secretary to the Post-office. In 1857 he was 
elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and early in i860 Her 
Majesty conferred upon him the honour of Knight Commander 
of the Bath. In 1864, owing to ill-health, he retired. Parlia- 
ment granted him ^20,000 and an annual pension ol ^2000, 
«' not merely as a meritorious public servant, but as a bene- 
factor of his race ; and feeling that his tilting reward is to be 



i66 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

found not in this or that amount of pension, but in the grateful 
recollection of his country." The rest of his life was spent in 
quiet retirement, and when he died 27 August, 1879, he was 
buried in Westminster Abbey. His interesting biography, 
in two volumes, written by his nephew, George Birkbeck Hill, 
D.C.L., was published in 1880. Birmingham, where he spent 
his youth and early manhood, has set up his statue ; and a 
similar honour was done to him in his native town of Kidder- 
minster at a cost of ^1800, contributed by 200,000 people chiefly 
in penny stamps. The statue was executed by Mr. T. Brock, 
R.A., and unveiled in June, 1881, by the Mayoress (Mrs. H. R. 
Willis), when an eloquent eulogy was pronounced by Sir Rupert 
Kettle. A charity for the relief of the widows and orphans of 
the servants of the Post-office will keep his memory green. 
" But so long as men keep warm feelings, and the name of home 
has still its charm ; so long as there are sorrowful partings and 
hearts that need comforting ; so long as our high aim is towards 
peace on earth, good will toward men, Rowland Hill is not 
likely to be forgotten. For he has done almost more than any 
other man to bring near those who are far off, to bind the 
nations together, and to make the whole world kin." 

William Lea, M.A., son of William Lea, Esq., of Kidder- 
minster (p. gi), was born at Stone House ig Nov., i8ig. He 
was educated at Rugby and Brasenose College, Oxford, B.A. 
(2nd Class Lit. Hum.) 1842. In i84g he became Vicar of St, 
Peter's, Droitwich, which he resigned in 1887. In 1881 he was 
made Archdeacon of Worcester, and filled the office with con- 
spicuous tact and abilit}^ For more than 40 years he earnestly 
promoted the cause of education in the diocese as secretary of 
the Worcester Board of Education and hon. secretary of Saltley 
College. He was also a great authority upon fruit growing, 
recommending it especially to cottagers. In addition to his 
published Charges, he wrote Catechisings on the Book of Common 
Prayer, On the Life of our Lord, Sermons on the Prayer Book Preached 
in Rome, Small Farms, and Chtirch Plate in the Archdeaconry of 
Worcester. He was also collecting materials for an account of 
the church fonts in the Archdeaconry. He died at " Orchard- 
lea " 24 Sept., i88g, and was buried in St. Peter's churchyard, 
Droitwich. 



THE CELEBRITIES. 167 

Humphrey Price, born at Kidderminster, and educated at 
the Grannnar School, was afterwards minister of Christ Church 
in Needwood. He was a mm of exceedingly benevolent dispo- 
sition, but somewhat eccentric and misguided in his chivalrous 
support of the cause of the weavers during the great strike of 
1828. Nearly 2000 looms were standing idle from March till 
the end of August, entailing a loss upon the operatives of about 
^50,000. This produced great distress in the town : Mr. Price 
composed a pathetic poem, " A Kidderminster Weaver's Wife's 
Dream," and also published highly infiaminator\- letters 
addressed to John Woodward, John Broom, James Hooman, 
and George Hallen (High Bailift), which were considered 
to be the cause of some riots which endued. J. iJowyer, of 
The Copse, and " Oppitlanus " replied to these letters (printer, 
T. Pennell, High Street). Sir James Scarlett moved in the 
King's Bench tor a rule to show cause why a crinnnal mtorma- 
tion should not be filed against the Ivew 11. Pnci'. He was 
tried at Hereford, and sentenced to twelve months' imprison- 
ment. In the end the men returned to work at lower wages, 
and received 205. each as a present. 

Rebecca Swan was the last ot the Kidderminster witches. 
She lived in Clunxli Street, where a signboard made known lier 
qualifications: — "Town and Country Letter Writer to All 
Parts. Gives Advice in all Periods. No need to Apply with- 
out recommendation. I have been wrongfully used. Wishes 
to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. " A 
number of fine cats assisted her in lier extensive trade of 
fortune-teller and recoverer of stolen property : but when her- 
self robbed of tweK'e half-crowns and six gold rings lier mystic 
art failed to regam the articles. She was burnt to death while 
intoxicated on a tempestuous night in November, 1850, when 
all her cats mysteriously disappeared. [Richard Baxter was a 
believer in witchcraft, and from the Townscnd MSS. it appears 
that in 1660 four persons accused of the black art were brt)ught 
from Kidderminster to W orcester gaol. " The eldest daughter 
had said that if they had not been taken, the King should never 
have come intt) lingl.ind : and though he now <lolh come, yet 
lie shall not live long, but shall die a^ ill ,1 de.ilh ,i^ they: and 

V 



i68 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

that they would have made corn like pepper. Many great 
charges were made against them but little proved : they were 
put to the ducking in the river ; they would not sink, but swam 
aloft. The man had five teats, the mother three, and the 
eldest daughter one. When they went to search the women 
none were visible : one advised to lay them on their backs, and 
keep open their mouths, and they would appear ; and so they 
presently appeared in sight."'] 

George Griffith served his first clerkship in a corn mer- 
chant's office in Bewdley, and was afterwards resident for many 
years in Kidderminster. Quite early in life he became pos- 
sessed with two ruling passions — verse making and the 
reformation of grammar schools. His writings were very 
voluminous, chiefly in " history, history-romance, drama 
satire, and a miscellaneous worship of the Muse." His chief 
publications were The Free Schools of Worcestershire, Life of George 
Wilson, Charles II., Going to Markets and Grammar Schools, and 
Records in the Midland Counties. He died in 1883, and was 
buried at Ribbesford. 

Thomas Helmore, M.A., w^as the son of the Rev. Tliomas 
Helmore, minister of the New Meeting (1810 — 1818). He 
graduated at Hertford College, Oxford, and was ordained by 
the Bishop of Lichfield in 1840. From 1842 to 1846 he was 
Vice-Principal of St. Mark's College, Chelsea. In 1847 he was 
made Pnest-in-Ordinary to her Majesty's Chapels Royal, He 
was a prolific writer of church music, and was the originator 
and principal editor of The Hymnal Noted,, Manual of Plain Song^ 
Carols, &c. He died July, 1890, aged 79, and was buried in 
Brompton cemetery. 

Dr. G. Custance, born in Kidderminster, was the author of 
a History of the Church in England. 

Edward Bradley, B.A., more widely known as " Cuthbert 
Bede," was born in the topmost house in Swan Street, Kidder- 
minster, on 25 March, 1827. His father was a surgeon, and 
Edward was educated at the Grammar School under the Rev. 



THE CELEBRITIES. 169 

\\". Cockin. \\'hilst still a school boy he was a niLmber of the 
local Athenceum, and contributed a large number of original com- 
positions in prose and verse to its " Manuscript Magazine." 
Many of them are illustrated in his facile style with pen-and- 
ink sketches. At Durham Universit3\ where he graduated 
in 1848, he was Thorpe and Foundation Scholar. In 1850 he 
was ordained, and held successively the benefices of Bobbington 
m Staffordshire, Denton (Hunts), Stretton, near Oakham, and 
Lenton, near Grantham, which he retained up to the time of 
his death, 12 Dec, i88g. His celebrity mainly rests upon his 
famous book, Veniant Gveen (1854), a humorous story of Oxford 
University life. His other works were Photographic Pleasures, Nearer 
and Dearer, Fairy Fables, Happy Hours, Glencreggan, Humour, Wit, and 
Satire, Curate of Cranston, Tour in Tartan Land, The White Wife, 
The Rook's Garden, Matins and Muttons, Little Mr. Bouncer, and 
Fotheringhay and Mary Queen of Scots. He was also a regular 
contributor to The Queen, Notes and Queries, Society, &c. A large 
w^ater-colour view of the interior of Kidderminster parish 
church, sketched l)y him before its restoration, is in the 
chantry. He took a tleep interest in the history and 
antiquities ot his native town : several ot his early sketches 
were presented i)y him to the Museum, and have been 
framed at the expense of G. W. Grosvenor, Esq. Mr. Bradley 
married a daughter oi William Hancocks, Esq., of Blakeshall 
House, Wolverley, and leaves several children. His brother is 
a well-known Worcestershire writer under t]ie nont de plume of 
" Shelsley Beauchamp." An ancestor, the Rev. John Bradley, 
was Rector of Ribbesford from 1725 to 1730. 

Daniel Wagstaff Goodwin was born at Holt in 1821, and 
was son of John G. Goodwin, Alderman and Mayor of Wor- 
cester. In 1845 he came to the ancient Town Mills of Kidder- 
minster, where he adopted the latest miprovements in machinery 
aiul apparatus, and by unremittmg attention to business 
achieved much success. He was chosen to nearly all the offices 
of honour and trust in the town, such as Alderman, Mayor, 
County Councillor, Churchwarden, Chairman ot the Chamber 
of Commerce, &c. He was of simple, quiet manners, but liis- 
played abundant common-sense and public spirit. He gave 



170 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

the site and was the chief promoter of the Schools of Art and 
Science ; and shortly before his death he had anonymously 
otfered /500 towards building a new Free Library. He also 
erected a useful and handsome drinking fountain at the Blake- 
brook entrance of the town. ¥L<t died 25 March, 1890, and is 
buried in St. John's churchyard. 

WjLLiAM Henry Simcox was son of George Price Simcox, of 
Kidderminster, and his wile Jemima (Haslope). He was edu- 
cated first at Kidderminster Grammar School, under Dr. 
Sheppard, whence he won an open exhibition at Alarlborough 
College. In i860 he was elected scholar of Balliol College, 
Oxford ; in 1863 he was First Class, Moderations ; 1864, First 
Class Lit. Hum. ; 1865, Craven Scholar and Gainsford Greek 
Prose Prize ; 1867, Theological Scholar and English Essay ; 
1868, Arnold Historical Essay and M.A. ; Fellow of Queen's 
College 1864 — 1870. In i856 he was ordained. He was Rector 
of Weyhill, Hants, 1869 — 1885, and of Harlaxton, Lincolnshire, 
1885 — 1887. He died in 1889, aged 48. He wrote Beginnings 
of the Christian Church, 1881, and edited The Orations of Demos- 
thenes and j^Eschines on the Crown, 1872, and Tacitus' Histories, 

1875. 

George Augustus Simcox, elder brother of the above, was 
likewise born in Kidderminster, educated at the Grammar 
School, and has had a brilliant university career. In 1858 he 
won an open scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford ; 
i860. First Class Moderations; 1861, Ireland Scholar; 1862, 
First Class Lit. Hum. and Craven Scholar ; 1864, Latin Essay 
and Fellow of Queen's College. He has written a History of 
Latin Literature, 2 vols., Longmans (1883), &c. 




THE MANUFACTURES. 



171 



CHAP T E R X 



IT be ni>amit"acturc£\ 



^M 




ADOX'S Fovmulare An^licaniim (Nash, ii., 42) 
contains the earliest reference to manufactures 
in the town : it is the release of a messuage 
and land \n W'ich, made by one Alured, son of 
Ketelbern, a fiilley of Kidderminster. The deed 
is without date, but Hugh le Poer, one of the 
witnesses, was under sheritf in the eighth, fourteenth, and nine- 
teenth years of Henry HI. Taking the latest period, we get 
1235 as the date when the clothnig trade was undoubtedly in 
operation here. 

In the VVanley MS. mention is made of Alured the Fuller as 
holdmg land " on which the Hospital was formerly situated, 
near the great Mill of Kiddeminster." Other deeds of the time 
of Henry HI. refer to " Margery widow of Richard the Fuller," 
and " an annual rent of 25. to be paid by Simon the Fuller my 
man." One of the earliest fulling-mills set up m England was 
that at Bradford-on-Avon, in Wiltshire, a few miles from 
Maiden Bradley. Its advantages would not escape the keen 
eyes of the monks ; and before long they were the owners of a 
fulling-mill worked by water power at Mytton, in the tenancy 
of William de Stour. (Page 21.) 

Before 1334 the manufacture of cloth was so well established 
that regulations were made respecting it. 

" FOR THE MAKING OF WOOLLEN CLOTH. 

" Alsoe we woll that no manner of man within tlie Manner 
and Burrow oft KlIIk rniinster shall iiinkc any v\uullen cluih 



172 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Broad nor Narrow without the Baylieffs Seall in payn of 
XX5. tor every defauite, the one haulfe to the prince and the 
Lord and the Other to the Bayliefe." 

From the wording of the above there can be no doubt that 
the cloth was made in the town itself. Kerseys were probably 
made here also, but the following regulation relates only to the 
sealing of such as were exposed for sale : — 

" FOR THE SEALING OF CARSEIES. 

" Alsoe wee woll that noe man nor woman shall Bring to the 
ffayr or Markett Any Carseies for to sett to sale without a seall 
for dought off the Catchpowles for all such Carseyes or Cloth 
are fforfeyted, the one halfe to the prince and the lord And the 
other halfe to the baylyffe and his Catchpoles." 

Wool was abundant in England, and the prosperity of the 
Flemish burghers depended entirely on this important raw 
staple. In the valuation of the Rectory of Kidderminster, made 
in 1335, the tithes of wool amounted to the large sum of ^4 — 
three times the value of the hay and four times that of the oats. 
The tithe of lambs was 135. 4^., whilst that of calves was only 
I2d. The sheep, however, were small, and each fleece averaged 
only i^lb. (Rogers.) The foreign wars of the Edwards and the 
Henrys were carried on almost entirely by the tax on wool. 
The heavy export duty on this article induced many Flemings 
to take up their residence in England — just as in our own times 
carpet manufacturers have gone to the United States. From 
the names of some old Kidderminster Burgesses we may con- 
clude that a few of them found their way here : we have for 
instance Delph, Fleminge, Holland, and Flanders. 

Flax was extensively grown in this district in the middle ages, 
and in 1335 the tithe was valued at 135. ^d. Its importance 
will be understood when we remember that cotton was unknown. 
Leather was very largely used for clothing, but Bewdley was 
the chief seat of the tanneries, having an abundance of oak 
bark from the Wyre Poorest. 

In 1533 the cloth trade of Worcestershire was passing through 
a crisis ; and a paternal government interlered to protect the 



THE MANUFACTURES. 173 



towns from ruinous competition, though in a manner somewhat 
contrary to oiu' modern ideas of political economy. John 
Leland about this time records : " The Tow ne standelh most 
by cloathinge."' The Act 25 Henry VIII., cap. 18, runs thus : — 

" i Sheweth unto ttio Kin,;,' oar Sovereign Lord, and to the Lords Spiritual 
and Temporal, and to the Commons in this present I'arh assembled, the 
Citizens, Burgesses, and Inhabitants of the City of Worcester, and the towns 
of Evesham, Droitwich, Kederminster, and liromisgrove within the County 
of Worcester. That where the said City Boroughs and Towns ha\e been in 
times past well and substantially inhabited, occupied, maintained, and 
iij)holden by reason of making of woollen CMoths, called long Cloths, short 
Cloths, and other Cloths, as well whites, blues, and brown blues, and the 
poor people of the same Towns and of the country adjoining to them, daily 
set a work, as in spinning, carding, breaking, and sorting of Wools, and the 
Handicrafts there inhabiting as Weavers, Fullers, Sheremen and Dyers, have 
been well set a work, and had sufficient living by the same, until now within 
few years passed, that divers persons inhabiting in the hamlets, thorps, and 
villages adjoining to the said towns, for their private wealths, singular 
advantages and commodities, nothing regarding the maintenance and 
upholding of the said Towns, ne the commonwealth of the said handicrafts, 
ne the poor people which had living by the same, have not only ingrossed 
and taken into their hruids divers and sundry farms, and become farmers, 
grasiers, and husbandmen, but also do exercise the mysteries of cloth- 
making, weaving, fulling and sheering within their said houses to the great 
decay and ruin of the said Towns. 

" ii For remedy whereof and for the amendment and good advancement 
of the said towns be it enacted . . . that after Sept 30, i53() only such 
persons inhabiting within the towns of Worcester, Kvesham, Droitwich, 
Kederminster, and Bromisgrove shall make any manner of woollen cloths to 
be sold upon pain of forfeiture for each Cloth xls. 

" iii No higher rent shall be imposed tor houses in the said towns than 
was given within 20 years next before the making of this Act. 

" iv Persons may make cloaths for their own wearing, their children or 
servants wearing. 

" V That in every town there be due search made of every such cloth 
beforesaid there made, and that they be meted both length and breadth, 
being wet from the mill, before they be set upon the rack and dried : (2) and 
that they shall be sealed with the seal of the searcher of the same town, 
which seal shall have a stamp containing the true numbers for the length 
and breadth of the same cloth being wet, on pain of forfeiting for every cloth 
put to sale, not having the said seal of the searcher xx.?. ... (4) and 
the searcher shall have for the sealing of every cloth a peny, and not 
above." 



174 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

In 27 Hy. VIII., cap. 12, is a further " Act for the true making 
of cloth." 

In 4 and 5 Philip and Mary, cap. 5, § 2, it is enacted that 
every white cloth and clothes commonly called long" Worcesters 
shall weigh 751b. at the least. 

From the Borough archives we extract the following :— 

" Ordinances and By-lawes agreed uppon, and made at 
Kiddern>inster, under ye Common Scale of ye said Burrough, 
by John Elsmore the nowe Baylive, and the Major p;irt of the 
Capitall Burghesses thereof, Assembled to y' end in the Guild- 
hall of that Burrough the xxiij"^*^ day of August, A.D. 1650. 

" I Imprimis whereas the Burrough of Kidderminster aforesaid hath 
bine, and is an Auncient Burrough and hath auntientHe had in it divers 
Fraternities, Companies,, or fellowshipps of ye Tradesmen and Inhabitants 
thereof known by severall names — That is to say, the Societie or Companie 
of Weavers, The Societie of Taylors The Societie of Smithes and the Society 
of Shoemakers, And whereas also the said severall Fraternities. Societies, 
Companies, or Fellowshipps, have each and every of them had two persons- 
respectively elected yerelie out of the said severall Fraternities, upon 
the Munday next after Midsummer day, by ye greater of the said 
respective Fraternities, which are called, and so auntiently were 
called, by the name of Wardens of the said several Fraternities, which 
said Wardens were, and are for ye next yere following their eleccion 
to doe ye best of their skill, and power, and to execute and accom- 
plish all things whatsoever by all good wayes for ye maintenance, and 
continuance of good Orders for the generall good of ye said Burrough, 
and for ye particular good and benefit of their respective Fraternities 
or Societies. It is therefore now agreed upon and ordeigned by ye' 
foresaid John Elsmore Baylive of ye said Burrough, and ye Major part of 
ye Capitall Burghesses thereof. That the said severall Fraternities, Societies, 
Companies, and Fellowships still continue, be, and remayne as before they 
have bine. 

" 3 Item it is ordeyned That at every such Eleccion such person of the 
severall Fraternities as shall last come before Eleven of ye Clock to the place 
of ye Assembly is, and shalbe made for the yere then next following a Beedie 
or messenger unto ye savd respective Wardens, to summon ye said respee-- 
tive Fraternities together as often as he shall by the sayd respective 
Wardens be commanded [penalty 35. 4^.] 

" 5 It is ordeyned that no person of any of the particular trades belonging 
to any of the said Fraternities shall set up any shop or house of trading 
within the said Borough or exercise any of the said Trades unless he be first 



THE MANUFACTURES. 175 



admitted into one of the said Fraternities by the respective Wardens and 
Companies, paying for his admittance such reasonable summe as shall then be 
agreed upon by him and them, and not exceeding Twenty Shillings ; the one 
halfe to goe to ye said Baylive and Capitall Burghesses for the use of the 
said Burrough, and ye other halfe to ye use of the said respective Frater^ 
nities. And it is further ordeyned that no person shall exercise any of the 
said Trades there unlesse he hath bine bound an Apprentice to ye same by 
the space of Seaven yeares [penalty Ten Pounds] 

" 14 Item for asmuch as the Society of Weavers of the Stuffes called 
Kidderminster Stuffes have received of late much dammage in their repu- 
tacion of trading by the Covetousnes and irregularity of some others of ye 
same profession and Trade within ye said Burrough who for their own 
advantage have driven a privat Trade of ye same Stuffes deceitfully made 
both for measure and workmanship. By which means a scandall is fastened 
upon ye said Trade, the Traders therein much disparaged, the Trade 
decayed, and the poore increased, who formerly by their Labour therein 
were supported and mainteyned. For the regulating hereof and to th'end 
ye said Trade, and profession may regaine its credit (now so much impayred), 
the poore as formerlie set on worke, and releeved, and that each man may 
in love and charity live neighbourly one with another. It is therefore 
thought fit, and ordeyned that from henceforth no Master of and in the 
said Trade of Weavers, nor likewise of any the Trades belonging to ye 
severall Companies or F'raternities as aforesaid shall take any Apprentice to 
any their severall trades but he shall first acquaint ye Wardens of the said 
severall Fraternities Companies and Fellowships therewith, who shall take 
care to have him bound according to ye Lawes of ye Realme, And shall 
enroll his name, age, and time of his service in their book, for which they 
shall be allowed 2sh. 6d. and not above, to be payd by him or her that shall 
procure the same Apprentice to be bound as aforesayd. And likewise yt 
all and every Master of the said Trade of Weaving within the sayd Burrough 
be required to take no Apprentice to ye foresayd trade for ye space of Seven 
years after ye Confirmacion hereof according to ye Statute in that behalf 
made, except only poore boyes necessarily cast upon the Towne (if so many 
there be) or a Townsman's owne sonne, if any such be ; And also not to take 
an Apprentice till he that taketh him hath been a Master at ye sayd Trade 
sne whole yere ; And that to and for each Apprentice that any man shall 
take in ye sayd Trade he doe keep Two Journymen, which shall be such, 
and none others, and so qualified, as ye Lawes of this nation doe allow of, 
and that shall be approved of to worke in the said trade by ye sayd Frater- 
nitie Societie Company or Fellowship of Weavers. And that in case any 
Tradesman within the said Burrough shall fall into decay having an Appren- 
tice The same person so decayed shall not take money to make his sayd 
Apprentice free ; But with the consent of ye same Fraternitie, Company or 
Society shall turne him over to some other of the same profession, and trade 
^o work out the residue of his time then undetermined. 
W 



176 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

" 15 Item it is thought fit, declared, and agreed upon, That for and during 
the space of three years next after the confirmacion of these present Ordi- 
nances as aforesaid, no one Master of the sayd Trade or Fellowship of 
Weavers doe keep at work at once any more Loomes of Linsey Woolseyes 
than onelie three, except he be (for good causes by him alleaged, and so 
approved) admitted and alowed to keepe more by the Wardens and Fellow- 
shipp of the same profession at their comon hall, or meeting. Nor shall 
any person setting up the sayd Trade of Weaving of Linsey Woolseys, and 
other stufFes made of Linnen and Woollen within the sayd limit of time in 
the sayd Burrough be permitted to worke upon more than one Loome till 
the sayd time of three years be expired, nor to weave unto or for any that is 
not free of the sayd Trade. And that each Loome shall if conveniently it 
may weave a piece a week of six quaters wide and Twentie fower yards long, 
for which peece the Journyman that workes thereupon shall weekly have five 
shillings during the sayd time and so proportionally for other breadths and 
lengths." 

The charter of Charles I. (1636) recites that Kidderminster 
is an ancient borough of great commerce for the working and 
manufacture of cloths. Baxter says : — " My people were not 
rich ; there were among them very few beggars, because their 
common trade of stuff weaving would find work for them all, 
men women and children, that were able, and there were none 
of the tradesmen very rich, seeing their trade was poor, that 
would but find them food and raiment ; the magistrates of the 
town were few of them worth ^40 per annum, and most not 
half so much ; three or four of the richest thriving masters of 
the trade got but about £"500 or ;^6oo in twenty years, and it 
may be lost ;^ioo of it by an ill debtor. The generality of the 
master workmen lived but little better than their journey men, 
but only that they laboured not quite so hard." 

In 23 Charles 11. (1671) an Act was passed for regulating the 
manufacture of Kidderminster stuffs : — 

" Whereas divers abuses and deceits have of late years been had and used 
in the making of stuffs, called Kidderminster Stuffs, within the borough and 
parish of Kidderminster, tending to the debasing of the said manufacture, 
and to the great prejudice of the publick. 

" For the prevention of which abuses and deceits, may it please your 
Majesty that it may be enacted : that there shall be chosen one president, 
four wardens and eight assistants, all which shall be master weavers within 
the said Borough the first Monday after Pentecost, in the year of our Lord 



THE MANUFACTURES. 177 

1671, and from thenceforth yearly and every year, by the master weavers of 
the said borough or the greater part of them then present. 

" And for the regulation and good government of the said trade and manu- 
facture, the said President, Wardens and Assistants or any seven or more of 
them whereof the President and three or more of the said Wardens are to 
be present, shall and may from time to time meet and consult together for 
the good and benefit of the said trade and manufacture and for the due 
execution of the powers and authority given by this Act, and to make and 
ordain Bye-laws Rules and Ordinances for the better regulating of the said 
trade and manufacture, and the artificers of the same ; and to make seals 
from time to time for sealing of the same stuffs : which Bye-laws Rules and 
Ordinances being ratified and confirmed by the Justices of Assize for the 
County of Worcester for the time being, shall be published at least twice in 
the year, at two publick assemblies for the said trade and manufacture and 
by the several persons using the same within and under the said Regulation. 
And the said President, Wardens and Assistants or any seven or more of 
them shall have and hereby have power to impose a fine or penalty upon any 
person or persons using the said trade, or that shall be under the regulation 
thereof, as shall not conform to such Rules so made. Provided that the 
said fine or penalty upon any person for not conforming as aforesaid shall 
not exceed forty shillings for any one Offence. 

" And for the better regulation of the said trade and manufacture, and the 
avoiding of fraud and deceits therein ; be it further enacted by the authority 
aforesaid, that all linen yarn reeled, and usually bought and sold, or esti- 
mated by the lea to be hereafter used by any of the said artificers and stuff 
weavers within the said borough or parish of Kidderminster or liberties 
thereof shall be made without fraud or deceit, and be openly bought and 
sold in some publick market place on the market day within the said borough 
to be appointed by the Bayliff of the said borough for the time being : and 
before the same be exposed to sale, shall be reeled on a reel four yards about, 
every lea of the said yarn containing two hundred threads. And in case any 
person or persons shall hereafter sell or expose to sale any the yarns afore- 
said, made or reeled in any other manner then as aforesaid ; it shall and may 
be lawful to and for the said President, Wardens and Assistants to seize and 
carry away all such deceitful and defective yarns, which said yarns within 
- twenty days after such seizure shall be tried by a jury of twelve honest and 
able artificers of the said trade who shall be from time to time impannelled 
and summoned by a precept under the hands and seals of the Bayliff and 
any one Justice of the Peace of the said borough to appear at the Guild-kail 
of the said borough to try whether the said yarns be made and reeled 
according to the true intent and meaning of this act. And if the said jury 
impanelled and sworn as aforesaid shall find any of the said yarns not made 
and reeled according to the intent and meaning of this act, that then the 
said Bayliff and Justice of the peace of the said Borough shall impose such 
fine upon the owner of such defective yarns in their discretions shall be 



178 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



thought meet not exceeding the value of the moyety of such defective yarns : 
which said fine the owners of the said defective yarns shall pay to the said 
President for the time being (to be disposed of as the said President, 
Wardens, and Assistants or the major number of them shall seem meet at 
their next publick meeting within thirty days after the said tryal) and in 
default thereof the said yarns to be sold by the President or any two of the 
said Wardens and the overplus of the moneys thereof coming after the fine 
or fines deducted to be restored to the said owner or owners upon demand. 

" And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all sorts of 
clothes and stuffs woven with wool! onely, or of wool! and other materials 
within the said borough or parish of Kidderminster or the liberties thereof 
shall be under the Power, Government, and regulation of the said President, 
Wardens and Assistants, in such manner, as by this act, and the Bye-laws 
and ordinances made or to be made by vertue thereof or by the laws or 
statutes of the Realm, are or shall be established. 

" And that all clothes and stuffs made or to be made under the regulation 
aforesaid before the same shall be exposed or put to sale, shall be brought to 
some convenient place within the said Borough to be appointed by the said 
President and Wardens to be viewed and searched by the said President, 
and any one of the said Wardens, or by any two of the said Wardens, and if 
the same shall be found to be well and sufficiently made and wrought, 
according to the rules and ordinances of the said trade and manufacture ; 
then all such clothes and stuffs shall be by the said President and any one 
ot the said Wardens sealed and allowed accordingly ; and if upon such 
search and view any clothes or stuffs shall be found or conceived not to be 
well and sufficiently made and wrought according to the rules and ordi- 
nances of the said trade ; then such clothes and stuffs shall be seized by the 
said President and Warden, or any two of the said Wardens, and be 
brought to tryal and the owner or owners fined in such manner and form as 
in this present Act is before limited and appointed for the tryal of defective 
linen yarn. 

" And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid ; that the said 
President, Wardens and Assistants, or any two or more of them, shall have 
and hereby have power and authority to enter into and search the houses 
and work-houses of any artificer, under the regulation of the said trade, at 
all times of the day, and usual times of opening of shops and working ; and 
into the shops, houses and warehouses of any common buyer, dealer in, or 
retayler of any of the said clothes or stuffs, and into the houses and work- 
houses of any dyer, sheer-man and all other workmen's houses and places of 
sale or dressing of the said clothes, stuffs, and yarns and may there search 
and view the said clothes stuffs and yarns respectively, whether they be 
made and wrought according to the laws, orders, and ordinances of the same 
trade and if any cloths stuff, or yarns shall be found faulty or defective to 
seize and carry away the same to be tryed by a jury as afore in this Act is 
appointed. 



THE MANUFACTURES. 179 



" And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall not be 
lawful for any person or persons to buy any piece or pieces of clothes or 
stuffs, made, or to be made within the said borough or parish or liberty 
thereof, before the same be sealed as aforesaid, and if any piece or pieces of 
such cloth or stuff, shall be found in the possession of any person or persons 
unsealed (except in the possession of the first owner or maker thereof) the 
person or persons in whose custody the same shall be found, shall be 
adjudged guilty of deceit shall forfeit for every such piece of cloth or stuff so 
found in his or their possession unsealed as aforesaid, the sum of four 
shillings, and the maker and seller of the same who shall deliver the same 
out of his or their possession before the same be sealed, shall likewise forfeit 
for every such piece other four shillings to the use of the poor of the same 
trade. 

" And if any person shall counterfeit any seal of the said trade or shall 
seal any piece of cloth or stuff made under the regulation of the said trade 
with any counterfeit seal, or shall remove a seal of one piece and set it unto 
another piece which hath not been sealed, as before in this Act is appointed 
to be sealed ; every person so offending and being thereof convicted by his 
own confession or by the oath of two or more witnesses, shall forfeit for 
every such offence the sum of twenty pounds. 

" And for the better providing that poor journeymen who have served in 
the said trade, and are not able to set up for themselves may be imployed in 
work ; it is hereby enacted, that every person under the regulation of the 
said trade, who shall imploy two apprentices in the said trade, shall likewise 
imploy and set on work two journeymen in the said trade during the time he 
shall have or imploy two apprentices upon pain that every person shall 
forfeit for every moneth so offending as aforesaid the sum of twenty 
shillings. 

" And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the one moiety of all 
fines, forfeitures and penalties before in this Act mentioned, other than 
such as are expressly otherwise appointed shall be to the use of the Kings 
Majesty his heirs and successors, the other moiety to the use of the poor o{ 
the said trade ; and shall and may be levied by distress and sale of the goods 
and chattels of the offender or offenders by warrant under the hands and 
^eals of the i-!ayliff and one of the Justices of Peace of the said borough, or 
be recovered by action of debt bill, plaint or information in any of his 
majesties courts of record wherein no essoin, protection, or wager of law 
shall be allowed. 

" And be it also enacted that all Bayliffs, Justices, Sheriffs, Constables and 
all other officers shall be aiding and assisting to the said President, Wardens 
and Assistants or any of them, as often as they shall be thereunto required 
and in all Actions and Suits that shall be brought against any person or 
persons for what he or they shall do in persuance or in execution of this 
Act or any of the authorities hereby given, the person or persons so sued or 



i8o A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

molested shall or may plead the general issue of not guilty and give the 
special matter in evidence and shall recover double costs in any such case if 
the verdict pass for such person or persons or that the plaintiff or plaintiffs 
be Nonsuit therein or forbear further prosecution or suffer discontinuance ; 
for which costs the said person or persons shall have the like remedy as in 
any case where costs by the law were given to the defendants. 

" Ifi the Savoy 

" Printed by the Assigns of John Bill 

and Christopher Barker, Printers to the Kings 

Most Excellent Majesty leyi." 

In 1677 the number of looms of all sorts was 417 ; master 
weavers, 157; journeymen, 187; apprentices, 115. Only one 
of the masters had seven looms ; most of them had two 
or three. 

In the parish accounts of St. Michael's, Worcester, for the 
year 1623, eight yards of Kidderminster stuff at 14^. a yard 
were bought for the clothing of two pauper lads. 

At the Restoration 14 yards of " Kidderminster stuff," value 
£-^ js. 6d., were purchased for Worcester Cathedral. At Wen- 
lock, in 1687, it was resolved to have a carpet of " Kidder- 
minster stuff" for the Council Chamber. Judge Jefferies 
alluded to the distinctive trade of the town when he inveighed 
against poor Baxter'^s " linsey-woolsey doctrine." The linsey 
woolseys, or " Kidderminsters," were printed linseys in use for 
hangings of rooms and beds. When this industry declined, the 
manufacture of a rough cloth called frieze, chiefly sold to the 
Dutch, was taken up. In the early part of the eighteenth 
century cheneys and ratteens were made. On the decline of 
the clothing trade the town was reduced very low for want of 
business, yet a few employed themselves in making worsted 
stuffs, or stuffs composed of worsted and silk mixed, called 
Spanish poplins ; the breadth of these was half a yard. (Nash.) 
Other fabrics manufactured here were arras, woollen camlet^ 
glossanett, Irish foplin, and several kinds of crape. 

About the year 1717 Mr. Greaves, of London, encouraged a 
manufacture of striped tameys and prunellas. In 1748 yard- 
■wide silk and worsted stuffs were made to great advantage. In 



THE MANUFACTURES. i8i 

1755 was established a manufacture in silk alone, figured and 
flowered for women's cloaks. "The invention of quilting 
worsted in looms for bed-quilts and petticoats, in imitation of 
Marseilles quilting, is to be ascribed to the Messrs. Pearsall, 
and is executed by those ingenious weavers Freestones, who 
have likewise invented a loom for weaving nets of all kinds." 

In 1772 there were 1700 silk and worsted looms at work. In 
1767 a journeyman's wages were from los. to 125. a week. 

In 1776 an advertisement in Berrow's journal announced that 
on Feb. 3rd (Bishop Blaze) the Woolcombers of Kidderminster 
intended making a grand Cavalcade round the town dressed in 
the following manner, viz. they will be completely dressed with 
Caps and Sashes of their oimi maimfacture : to be preceded by an 
Orator, then the God Jason bearing the Golden Fleece, a 
Shepherd and Shepherdess, the Patron Bishop Blaze in a 
single-horse chair, attended by two Pages ; the Woolcombers 
on Horse-back two and two : Band of Music. To start from 
the Rose and Crown about 10 a.m. 

On 27 Feb., 1794, '^h^ woolcombers presented a petition to 
Parliament setting forth their certain ruin by the invention of 
a machine, which, when worked by one person and four 
children, would do as much as thirty men. 

At the time of the American War of Independence trade had 
been so bad that nearly the whole of the 87th Regiment and 
part of the 88th were raised in Kidderminster : few of them 
ever came back. 

By 1 83 1 the silk and worsted looms had decreased from 1700 
to 340. Bombazine was being made, but not so much as 
formerly. 

" The old order changes, giving place to new," and any 
manufacturing town that is content to rely on its present 
success, without making constant efforts to improve its indus- 
tries and develop new ones, will soon find itself left behind in 
the race. Fortunately for Kidderminster, at nearly every 
period of its history it has had men of sagacity, enterprise, and 
forethought, who could read the signs of the times. In 1735 



1 82 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

the first carpet factory was erected on Mount Skipet, Kidder- 
minster. From an article by Mr. Joseph Mears, of The Sun, we 
learn some interesting details of the early history of this impor- 
tant industry, with which the fortunes of the borough are now 
so closely interwoven. A local poet mentions the names of 
Pearsall and Broom as those of the founders of the carpet trade. 
It is probable that to Pearsall belongs the honour of weaving 
the first " Kidderminsters," a flat carpet, now made chiefly in 
Scotland, though keeping the old name. The master weavers 
in the town, however, had carefully noted what had been done 
at Wilton, Wiltshire, under the patronage of Henry Herbert, 
ninth Earl of Pembroke. That nobleman had been a traveller 
for years through Flanders and France, and had inspected 
splendid products of the Continental carpet looms, and had 
patriotically resolved to have weavers, artists, managers, and 
everybody essential to the use of the carpet trade near his 
Wilton mansion. He therefore persuaded Anthony Duffory, 
Pierre Jernaule, and others to leave France for England, and 
in 1745 those famous weavers began at Wilton to revolutionise 
the carpet trade of the empire. In 1755 Axminster began to 
work side by side with the industry of Wilton. It was a tr3ang 
hour for carpet masters on the banks of the Stour — everything 
depended on a bold and rapid resolve to wrestle with W^ilton 
for the cut carpet market. Three years had proved that Kidder- 
minsters could not hope to compete with Wiltons, and instead 
of pausing to see what the next three years would bring forth, 
a brave townsman quitted Kidderminster and crossed the 
Channel, determined to make or mar his fortune as a carpet 
weaver. John Broom, a middle-aged man of enterprise, whose 
tomb may still be seen in the old churchyard, travelled first 
to Brussels and next to Tournay , studying with desperate earnest- 
ness the " mystery " of Brussels carpeting, and bent on finding 
for Kidderminster a first-class adept in the Brussels trade. At 
Tournay he made the acquaintance of just the weaver he 
wanted, and losmg no time in embarking with him for England, 
Mr. Broom settled his Belgian stealthily in the neighbourhood 
of Mount Skipet. In an upstair room master and man built 
forthwith the first Brussels loom A.D. 1749, and they worked 
the machine with as much secrecy as though they were coun- 



THE MANUFACTURES. 183 

terfeiting coin. Gradually the secret carpet weaving was on 
everybody's lips, though as yet none but Broom and his Belgian 
could pretend to produce a Brussels. But as the weavers drove 
their loom by candle-light as well as by sunlight, another manu- 
facturer in the town engaged a workman night after night to 
climb a ladder and watch their proceedings, until he was able 
to bring out a Brussels loom. The plot succeeded, and a second 
firm — or, rather, several firms — were the consequences of the 
conspiracy. The trade expanded so much that, in 1753, Lord 
Foley laid out new streets and built 200 new houses. The 
master weavers of Wilton were so alarmed by the rising carpet 
trade at Kidderminster that they resolved to sink large sums 
over and above their common profits in order to crush it. liut 
the Brussels carpeting had taken root, and in less than fifty 
years it was found to flourish exceedingly, and became the chief 
industry of the town. In 1807 the silk and worsted looms had 
decreased from 1700 to 700, while the carpet looms had increased 
from 250 to 1000. But nearly all other weaving except that of 
carpets was swept away in 1825. when Jacquard machines were 
introduced for the manufacture of carpets by Messrs, Lea, Broom, 
and Sons. In 1828 a severe competition arose with the Scotch 
manufacturers. Wages were reduced, and a ruinous strike 
ensued. In 1830 the ill-feeling between masters and men 
culminated m some very serious riots. By 1838 there were 
2020 carpet looms — 1765 for Brussels, 210 for Kidderminster, 
and 45 for Venetians. There were 24 employers and 4016 
■weavers in the town. It would appear, however, that the 
manufacturers had not the same enterprising spirit that distin- 
guished their forefathers. When the celebrated Mr. Whytock 
invented and patented his new fabric called tapestry or printed 
"Brussels, he offered to sell the patent to the carpet masters of 
the town, but they would not purchase it. A similar thing 
happened when Mr. Bigelow, of Massachusetts, offered to 
Kidderminster the sale of his power loom, first shown in the 
Great Exhibition of 1851, and afterwards erected on trial at the 
Hoobrook mill. Eventually the Messrs. Crossley, of Halifax, 
at the price of ^10,000, became the purchasers of the Patent 
Rights for Great Britain, with the result that for a period they 
almost monopolised the trade. They offered the invention to 

X 



i84 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Kidderminster on payment of a royalty, and the privilege was 
soon secured by Messrs. Worth, Brinton, and Jecks Dixon. 

The firm of Messrs. Pardoe, Hoomans, and Pardoe saw 
the fatal mistake that had been made in the rejection 
of the power loom, and they did what they could to make 
amends by applying it to the manufacture of tapestry carpets 
in this town in 1851 ; while Messrs. James Humphries and Sons 
applied steam power to the manufacture of Brussels carpets in 
1852. The development of the movement for the introduction 
of the power loom was exceedingly rapid, and the late Earl of 
Dudley gave it an immense impetus by erecting spacious works, 
with steam power and plant, in what is now known as Green 
Street. In this way many of the manufacturers were allowed 
to have their work carried on in what was popularly known as 
•' Lord Ward's shed." Power looms were placed there by 
Messrs. H. Woodward and Sons, Morton and Sons, Samuel 
Fawcett, Thomas Humphries, and John Lloyd Dobson. The 
population, which had decreased nearly 4000 in the decade 
1851 to 1861, began rapidly to rise again, and the trade 
increased to an enormous extent. Many acres of ground were 
soon covered with large and well-appointed factories, affording 
employment to thousands of workmen, and keeping the builders 
busy in the erection of new streets. The railway was opened 
in 1852. 

In 1854 George Price Simcox (firm formerly Lea and Simcox) 
obtained a patent for prmcmg a twill tabric which was woven 
plain colour, then printed with blocks, and called " Beaver 
Carpet." Works were erected on the Worcester Road for 
weaving and printing this fabric, and are still called the Beaver 
works. The carpet was not a success, and was followed by a 
one-irame white Brussels fabric printed with a pattern from 
blocks in the same wa}' as the beaver carpet. This firm also 
introduced a low quality Brussels carpet called "Stouts:" it 
was made by hand in some factories at Mount Pleasant, now 
occupied by Messrs. Tomkinson and Adam. 

A most important development of the trade, and one of far- 
reaching intiuciice on the luture fortunes ot the town, was the 



THE MANUFACTURES. 185 

introduction into En-^land in 1878 01 the Royal Axminster 
power-loom. Messrs. Tomkinson and Adam acquired the 
patent rights for Great Britain, and the first looms were erected 
in their factory on Arch Hill. They also granted licenses for 
the use of the patent to Messrs. Southwell of Bridgnorth, J. W, 
and C. Ward of Halifax, and H. J. Dixon and Sons, Woodward 
and Grosvenor, and Morton and Sons, of Kidderminster. This 
loom was invented by Halcyon Skinner, and became the pro- 
perty of the Alex. Smith and Son's Carpet Company, Yonkers, 
New York. The power Chenille Axminster setting loom was 
invented by Mr. William Adam ; and m 1880 the firm of Tom- 
kinson and Adam licensed James Templeton and Co. and J. 
Lyie and Co., of Glasgow, and R. Smith and Sons, of Kidder- 
minster, to use the patent. The first looms were erected at 
" The Sling " in the shed formerly used as a tapestry weaving 
shed by Messrs. Pardoe, Hoomans, and Pardoe. The American 
patent was disposed of to the Alex. Smith and Sons" Carpet 
Company, Yonkers, New York. The great Jubilee banquet of 
1887 was held in a new shed built by Tomkinson and Adam at 
Mount Pleasant. 

In 1889 an attempt was made to combine nearly all the carpet 
factories of the town into one huge undertaking under the 
control of a " Syndicate." The large scheme tell through, but 
led to the comoination of some firms, and the transformation of 
others into limited liability companies. The value of the carpet 
factories here now is estimated at fully ^2,000,000. The 
"Carpet Manulactunng Company'" is a combination of two 
very successiul undertakings — " Morton and Sons "' (founded 
1809) and "" Richard Smith and Sons' (founded 1855) — which 
owns 702 looms for Brussels, Axminster, Royal Axminster, 
Chenille, and other carpets. 

The firm of " John Everard Barton and Sons " has 
been in existence for over 100 years. In 1807 a deed 
of partnership was drawn up between Charles Wright, 
George Gower, and John Gough. Later on the firm became 
" Wright, Crump, and Crane,"' relatives of the founders. In 
J855 John Everard Barton and Thomas E. Crane took over 
the business, and carried it on together until Mr. Crane's death 



i86 . A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

in 1865. Mr. Barton died in 1885, and was succeeded by 
his sons. 

i The famous firm of " John Brinton and Co." employs 1500 
hands, producing Brussels, Wilton pile, tapestry, and velvet 
carpets, and hosiery and carpet worsteds. Mr. William Brinton, 
grandfather of the present head of the firm, began in the carpet 
trade in 1784. His son Henry, in 1821, started the existing 
works on some small premises originally owned by him, and 
which haye since been so much extended that six acres of land 
are coyered by the buildings of the company. In 1848 Mr, 
Henry Brinton took his third son (the present head) and another 
son (Henry) into partnership. Both the Henry Brintons died 
jn 1857, and the survivor, Mr. John Brinton, carried on and 
developed the business in a marvellous manner, until in 1880 
he merged it into a limited liability company, of which he con- 
tinues to hold the chief management. 

" Henry Jecks Dixon and Sons " was founded by Mr.Bowyer, 
who was joined in 1823 by Mr. H. J. Dixon. In 1886 it was 
formed into a limited company. Besides Brussels, Wilton, and 
Axminster carpets, this company manufactures saddle bags, 
moquettes for furniture coverings, carriage linings, &c. 

" Woodward, Grosvenor, and Co. (Limited) " is an old- 
established firm owning the Stour Vale Mills, and manufacturing 
high-class Brussels, Wilton, and Royal Axminster carpets. 

" Edward Hughes and Sons " (founded 1850) produces Patent 
Aubusson carpets and beam rugs, in addition to all the best 
varieties of carpets. The premises at Worcester Cross, now 
occupied by the firm of " H. R. Willis and Co.," were built by 
Mr. James Holmes, who had previously been partner in 
" Butcher, Worth, and Holmes," of Callows Lane. Mr, 
Holmes afterwards sold the works to Messrs. John Crossley and 
Sons, of Halifax, and became their manager. In 1869 the pre- 
mises were purchased by Mr. H. R. Willis, who has consider- 
ably improved and extended them. His " speciality " is superior 
Brussels and Wilton carpets. " Messrs. M. Whittall and Co." 
{1868) make Brussels and Wilton carpets and Patent Afghan 



THE MANUFACTURES. 1S7 

squares. The " Chlidema Company " manufactures a carpet 
01 seamless border without mitre, cross-join, or false shading. 

Other well-known manufacturers (1890) of all the best kinds 
of carpets are Messrs. John Bennie and Co., of the "Jubilee 
Works,' Exchange Street ; W. Green and Sons, New Road 
and Mill Street; W. J. Bannister, Hartlcbury Road; C. Har- 
rison and Son, Stourport ; Humphries and Sons, Mill Street; 
Naylor and Lloyd, Mill Street ; T. and A. Naylor, Green Street; 
G. W. Oldland and Co., New Road ; Potter and Lewis, New 
Road ; Purdey and Co., Vicar Street ; M. Whittall and Co., 
Exchange Street ; and T. B. Worth, Stourport. 

Mr. Thomas Lea, M.P., has extensive mills for spinning all 
kinds of worsted yarns for the carpet, hosiery, furniture, and 
clothing trades. The same industry is carried on by Mr. Edwd. 
A. Broome, of the Castle Mills, and Messrs. Watson Brothers, 
Pike Mills. Mr. Richard W'atson, whose family has been con- 
nected with the trade of Kidderminster for upwards of 200 
years, and Mr. Samuel Broom, commenced worsted spinning at 
Drayton Mill in 1843. In 1847 Mr. Broom retired, and in 1854 
Mr. Joseph Naylor joined Mr. Watson. In 1859 the Pike Mills 
were built, and Drayton Mill given up. Mr. Watson retired in 
1873, and his son, R. Talbot Watson, joined Mr. Naylor, and 
subsequently J. Harold Watson and Mr. Naylor's sons, Thos. 
F. and Arthur Naylor, were admitted partners. The partner- 
ship was dissolved 111 1883, when R. T. and J. H. Watson 
carried on the worsted spinning, and T. F. and A. Naylor took 
up the woollen spinning and carpet manufacturing, which had 
been added to the business in 1868, The Pike Mill was totally 
destroyed by hre on July ist, 1886, but was rebuilt and work 
resumed in September, 1887. 

Messrs. Crowther Brothers carry on extensive iron manu- 
factures at the Stour Vale and Falling Sands works. At 
Stourport and Wilden are the Anglo-American Tin Works. 
Stourport also has vinegar works, and does some boat- 
building. Other industries carried on in Kidderminster are 
maltings, breweries, wire works, brickfields, tanyards, &c. 
The paper manufacture at Hurcott is of long standing: the 



1 88 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

Registers record the burial of Robert Gough Aug. 20, 1653, 
" whoe dyed at Hurcoate papar myll." 

For six centuries and a half the looms have been busy at 
Kidderminster in the manufacture of textile fabrics of various 
kinds. When the demand f.or one product passed away 
another product took its place. In this way the town has more 
than held its own in the manufacturing world. With one or 
two exceptions a good understanding has existed between those 
who have risked their capital in the development of the various 
industries and those who have co-operated with them by 
manual labour. Whilst other nations are straining every 
nerve to drive England from her pre-eminent position, it was 
short-sighted policy on the part of some of the weavers that led 
them a few years ago to oppose the introduction of a new 
manufacture by Messrs. Jecks Dixon. 

The striking improvement in artistic skill that has charac- 
terised the last quarter of a century has now enabled native 
talent to supply the designs required by the carpet trade, 
whereas in former years Frenchmen were generally employed 
for the work. In this respect the local School of Art has done 
most valuable service. The scientific teaching of chemistry 
and dyemg recently started will no doubt have equally bene- 
ficial results, and enable the town to keep abreast of every 
development in the future. 




THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 



189 



CHAPTER XI 



^bc 1Rcil3bbourboo^, 



CLENT. 




(By John Amphlett, Esq.) 

HIS parish is situated at the highest part of the 
range of high land that forms the north-eastern 
boundary of the valley of the Severn. Among 
these hills, which attain a height of over 1000 feet, 
rise the head waters of the stream which, flowing 
through Hurcott and Broadwaters, joins the Stour 
at Kidderminster, after a course of some seven miles. The 
name of Clent, no doubt, is Danish, though it would be more 
applicable from its meaning to jagged precipices than to 
rounded outlines such as those of the Clent hills. It is true 
that the legend of St. Kenelm would assign the name of Clent 
to this locality in 821, the year of his murder, while the Danes 
did not come into England until 30 or 40 years after. But the 
legend is told us not in contemporary writings, but in histories 
compiled by monks who lived 300 or 400 years after the event, 
by which time the Danish name would have become well 
established. 

The earliest mention of Clent, apart from its connection with 
St. Kenelm, whose legend is so well known, is that in the year 
1016 it was bought, with Kingswinford and Tardebig, from 
Ethelred II. by /Egelsi, Dean of the church at Worcester, 
for 200 pounds weight of silver. During the disturbances con- 
sequent upon the seizure of the English Crown by Canute, the 
Sheriff of Staffordshire, whose name was ^Evic, " quidam 



tgo A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

malignus homo " says the chronicler, took possession of these 
villages. It was from the fact that the levies due to the Crown 
were- paid to the Sheriff of Staffordshire that Clent, with the 
adjoining village of Broom, then portion of the manor of Clent, 
came to be considered within that county. But at the time of 
Domesday its ancient connection with Worcestershire had not 
been forgotten, and it gave its name to a large hundred in the 
northern part of that shire. In later days it has come back to 
Worcestershire again, having been made a portion of that 
county by a Boundary Act passed after the first Reform Bill 
of 1832. 

At the time of Edward the Confessor and of Domesday^ 
Clent was a manor belonging to the Kmg, and it remained in 
the possession of the Crown till the time of John, who exchanged 
it with Ralph Somery, Baron of Dudley, for the manor of Stow- 
heath, near Wolverhampton, reserving to himself a small chief 
rent. For 120 years the manor remained with the Someries,, 
when it passed through a female to. Lord Bottetourt, and after 
his death to his granddaughter, the wife of Lord Burnell. When 
she died childless there were several claimants for it, and after 
much litigation an agreement was come to by which Clent 
became the property of the Earl of Wiltshire. 

During the Wars of the Roses the Earl of Wiltshire's estates^ 
were confiscated, and the manor of Clent fell into the possession 
of the Staffords, of Grafton Manor ; but on the accession of 
Henry VII. it was restored to Thomas Butler, the late Earl of 
Wiltshire's brother. From him it descended to Ann wife of 
Sir John St. Leger, of Annary, in Devonshire, aunt of Anne 
Boleyn, the ill-fated Queeft of Henry VIII. ; and her grandson, 
another Sir John, sold it in 1564 to Sir John Lyttelton, of 
Frankley, in whose family it has smce remained. 

There is another small manor in the parish, consisting of 
Calcott Hill farm, the glebe land, and one or two other fields. 
It is known as Church Clent Manor, or the King's Holt. Its 
history is obscure, but it in some way originated with the neigh- 
bouring Abbey of Halesowen, whose property it was at the 
dissolution of that monastery. Afterwards it remained some 



THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 191 

time in the possession of the Crown, whence its second name ; 
and then was granted to the notorious John Dudley, Duke of 
Northumberland. When this nobleman lost his head, his 
possessions again came to the Crown. Church Clent was, after 
some time, sold, since which it has passed through the hands of 
several proprietors. 

No church is mentioned as being in the parish at the time of 
Domesday, and we do not hear of a Rector of Clent till 1205. 
The parsons of Clent were Rectors till 1345, when, following a 
usual proceeding with such establishments, the Abbey of Hales- 
owen took possession of the great tithes of the parish, and 
deputed a Vicar to serve the church. After the dissolution the 
advowson and the tithes were granted to the Duke of Northum- 
berland, and after his attainder were sold by the Crown. 
Before very long a dispute arose concerning them, and both 
advowson and tithes got into Chancery. By some means the 
tithes came out of this Court, and after passing through several 
owners were bought by the Amphletts ; but the advowson still 
remains in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor. 

The present church is dedicated to St. Leonard, and was 
thoroughly restored in 1866. The first parson of Clent is 
called" Master Herbert of St. Peter's," so that the first church 
has either disappeared or the present one has changed its 
patron saint. It should be noted, however, that the church of 
Broom, a parish which formerly formed part of the manor of 
Clent, is dedicated to St. Peter. Little original work remains 
in Clent church, but the tower and chancel are conii)aratively 
untouched. The south arcade is Early English, and the roof of 
the chancel is of typical Early English work. Strange to say, 
nevertheless, the roof rests on walls of the most debased Per- 
pendicular work at least 300 years later in date, and so must 
have been transferred to its present position from some other 
part of the church. The tower is of plain Perpendicular archi- 
tecture of late date. The north aisle is quite modern, of the 
date of the restoration in 1866. One of the most curious things 
about the church is the orientation of the chancel, the axis of 
which in reference to the axis of the nave bends considerably 

Y 



I 



192 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

towards the south. Instances of orientation are not uncommon, 
but the bend is usually towards the north. The registers begin 
in 1562, and are fairly continuous to the present date. The 
earliest legible inscription in the churchyard is i6gi. 

There are few antiquities in the parish. The four stones on 
Clent Hill are quite modern, all tales to the contrary notwith- 
standing. They were erected by the first Lord Lyttelton about 
1760, and formed part of a general scheme for the decoration of 
the neighbourhood carried out by that nobleman. It is some- 
times said that the stones stand each in a different county, but 
this statement has no foundation in fact. All over Clent Hill 
the traces of old hedge banks may be seen, showing that culti- 
vation was at one time more extensive on the slopes than at 
present. It is probable that the land went out of cultivation 
at the time of the Black Death in 1348. One of these hedge 
banks, running up the hill near the road from Clent church to 
St. Kenelm's, is called St. Kenelm's furrow, and there is a 
legend attributing it to the running away of an old woman's 
cow, dragging the plough behind it, through her persistence in 
working on St. Kenelm's day. 

There are records of the enclosures of two commons in the 
parish — Calcott Hill about 1678, and Clent Lower Common in 
1788. On Clent Lower Common, called formerly also Clent 
Heath, there used to exist several barrows, which were explored 
during the last century, and bones were discovered in them ; 
faint traces of them still remain. Of the remaining common 
land in the parish, altogether about 260 acres, 170 acres on 
Clent Hill were placed under the control of a body of conser- 
vators, and dedicated to the public b}' Act of Parliament in 
1880; and in spite of the poor accommodation and the com- 
parative difficulty of access, increasing numbers of visitors in 
each year come to this parish to enjoy the bracing air, the open 
commons, and the distant views. 



THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 



193 



WOLVERLEY. 




OR more than a thousand years this pretty village 
has pertained more or less completely to the 
Bishops and Cathedral of Worcester. In the 
Saxon charters the name is spelt in eighteen 
ways. The earliest name apparently was 
Seckley — " Secceslea, which the country people 
call also Uulfordilea " (Heming, p. 410), most likely from 
the droves of wolves that had then their lairs in these 
wild regions. Originally forming part of the district of 
Sture-in-Usmere, it was given by Bishop Deneberht to 
Kenulph, King of Mercia, in 816, and restored to Aelhun, 
eleventh Bishop, fifty years later, by King Burhred. As we 
have seen (page 7), it was ravaged and seized by the Danes, but 
was afterwards given back to Worcester by Earl Leofric, at the 
intercession of Lady Godiva. The charter invokes the fate of 
Judas Iscariot on all who should presume to infringe this gift. 
The Cullecliffe (Cookley) portion was given by King Edgar 
(964) to Earl Beorthnots and his heirs, which land William the 
Conqueror gave to Worcester 1066. The bounds are marked 
as " From the river Usmere to Mount Hesecande, thence to 
Cuthred's tree, thence along the dyke to Stour, &c." The 
Horsebrook, Keningford, Kinver-stone, Hoccanstige Road, Mere- 
well Spring, Meredeune, Indosse, Stapol, and Mount Litlan- 
dune are also mentioned in the bounds. 

In Domesday we read : — " The church of Worcester holds 
Ulwardelei ; there are five hides. In demesne are two ploughs 
and four villeins, and five bordars with four ploughs. There is 
a priest having half a carucate, and one freeman having one 
hide, and paying two sextaries of honey ; there are six slaves, 
some men and some maids, and a mill of six shillings. In the 
time of King Edward it was worth £^ ; at the survey 405." 

King Stephen gave leave to the monks of Worcester " re- 
edificare Burconam terram suam apud Wlverdela."' King 



194 ^ HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

John (1208) granted to them here Soc and Sac, Thol and 
Theam, and Infangethef, with judgment of fire and water, of 
gallows and sword, fines for murders, &c., freedom from attend- 
ance at the Hundred and County Courts, &c. 

In 1240 the monks cultivated for themselves two carucates of 
land, which they had previously let for ;^4 yearly. They 
also held the mills, which used to pay 105. The fulling-mill 
was let for 13s. 4^. Twelve freemen held lands chiefly in 
virgates. There were eight cottars : three paid a rental of id. 
a quarter ; four paid three farthings a quarter ; and " The 
smith makes the iron of one plough for his own land, and for 
another receives lod., and for a bill 8d." Five villeins, holding 
half a virgate each, paid 10^^. a quarter. (Reg. Prior. Wig.) 

The Rectory of Wlverslawe was given to the Priory of Wor- 
cester by Bishop Roger, who died 11 79. The reasons assigned 
afterwards by the monks as a pretext for its impropriation were 
the ruinous condition of their buildings and the cathedral 
tower, and the heavy law expenses they had incurred in 
defending their rights. Pope Clement issued a bull in their 
favour from Avignon, and the ordination was made in 1354 by 
John Bishop of Hereford, " having special power from the 
Apostolic See." 

The Register begins with the year 1539, when there were 17 
baptisms, 9 burials, and 3 marriages. In 1563 a return gives 72 
families. In 1776 there were 120 houses and 500 inhabitants. 
In 1 881 the population had increased to 3343. The oldest 
family in the parish was the Attwoods (page 95), of which the 
elder branch became extinct in 1726. The Sebrights go back 
as far as Henry III. William Sebright, Esq., in 1620, founded 
and endowed a grammar school, and left money for repairing 
the church and four bridges, &c. Colonel Sir F. Winn Knight, 
K.C.B., of Wolverley House, and Major A. T. Hancocks, of 
Wolverley Court, are the representatives of families of long 
standing here. John Baskerville (p. 156) was born in this 
parish. 

The Enclosure Act was passed in 1775, but Nash mentions 
1456 acres of common land as still unenclosed in 1782. The 



THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 



195 



old church of St. John the Baptist was pulled down in 1769, 
and a new one, built of brick, was opened 20 Sept., 1772. In 
1882 the chancel was restored by the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners. The altar table and cloth were given by Mr. and Mrs. 
E. J. Morton, of Heathfield ; the pulpit is a memorial to Mr. 
John Saunders, of Sion Hill ; and the east window is erected in 
memory of Mr. William Hancocks. In the nave is a fine mural 
tablet by Flaxman in memory of Helen Charlotte wife of Mr. 
John Knight, of Lea Castle. The nave was thoroughly restored 
and beautified in 1889. The Vicarage, in the patronage of the 
Dean and Chapter of Worcester, is valued at ^300 with resi- 
dence, and is now held by the Rev. C. B. Rowland, M.A., St. 
John's College, Oxford. Edmund Green, Abbot of Hales Owen, 
was Vicar 15 10 — 1520. The well-known linguists and anti- 
quarians, Dr. Hickes and Dr. Hopkins, held this benefice in the 
seventeenth century. 



^M 



HAGLEY. 




OPE and Shenstone, Thomson and Gray, have 
sung in famous verse the beauties of this charming 
spot. But a still greater renown arises from its 
being the home of the distinguished famil}- of 
Lyttelton, which has shown for generations how 
the feudal leaders of mediaeval times can adapt 
themselves to modern circumstances, and still take the lead in 
all that is best for their country. The late Lord Lyttelton 
(George William, fourth Baron) will be long remembered for 
two great improvements wrought by his influence, viz., the 
reformation of grammar schools and the increase in the 
Episcopate. 

There are Roman and British remains in this parish. On 
Wichbury Hill is a large camp occupied by the Romans before 
fighting the Britons who were posted on the Clent Hills. An 
earthen pot full of Roman coins was taken out of a pool close 



ig6 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

to the hill. Sepulchral urns have also been found. The Roman 
Road is now called the King's Headland. 

Hagley is mentioned in Domesday as one of 14 Worcester- 
shire manors of William Fitz-Ansculph, of Dudley. There 
were 5^ hides, having one plough in demesne, a priest, five 
villeins, ten bordars, with five ploughs, and land sufficient to 
employ eight more, two serfs, and a wood. Before the Con- 
quest Godric, a thane of King Edward, held it — now Roger 
under Fitz-Ansculph. 

The Paganels and Somerys succeeded Fitz-Ansculph. In 
the time of Henry H. William de Haggaley held it as a knight's 
fee of Gervase Paganel. In 24 Edw. III. Edmund de Hagley 
gave up the manor and advowson to his lord paramount, Sir 
John Botetourt, for 100 marks. Twenty-three years later 
Henry de Haggaley, heir-at-law to Edmund, recovered the 
manor : he was High Sheriff in 1398 — 9 and 1403. In 141 1 he 
sold it to Thomas Walwyn, who alienated it to Jane Beau- 
champ, Lady Bergavenny, and she devised it to her grandson, 
Sir James Boteler, son and heir of the Earl of Ormond, created 
Earl of Wiltshire in his father's lifetime. He was a Lancas- 
trian, was taken prisoner at Towton, and beheaded. The 
confiscated land at Hagley was granted by Edward IV. to 
Fulke Stafford, but it soon reverted to the Crown, and was 
granted to Queen Elizabeth Woodville. In 18 Edw. IV. the 
King and Queen conferred it upon the Abbot and Convent of 
Westminster, for two monks to celebrate masses for the repose 
of their souls. But soon Thomas Butler recovered the for- 
feited lands of his brother, the Earl of Wiltshire, and his great- 
grandson, Sir John St. Leger, sold them in 1564 to Sir John 
Lyttelton, of Frankley, Kt., in whose family they still remain. 
In 1600 John Lyttelton, Esq., was implicated in the Essex 
rebellion, for which he was tried, condemned, and imprisoned. 
His estate was forfeited, and complete ruin threatened the 
family, when his noble wife Muriel, daughter of Lord Chan- 
cellor Bromley, came to the rescue. She threw herself at the 
feet of King James I. at Doncaster, and obtained a grant of her 
husband's estate, and soon an Act was passed whereby Mr. 
Lyttelton's attainder was reversed. After the Gunpowder Plot 



THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 



197 



two of the conspirators, Stephen Lyttelton and Robert Winter, 
were concealed in the old Hall at Hagley, but were betrayed by 
an under-cook. 

The present Hall was erected by George first Lord Lyttelton. 
The oldest part of the Church of St. John the Baptist is of the 
time ot the Somerys, about Henry 111., hut it has been much 
enlarged. About 1858 it was restored .at a cost of ;^230o, as a 
county testimonial to the high character of the fourth Baron 
Lyttelton. Afterwards a tower and spire were added from the 
designs of Mr. J. E. Street. 

The Registers commence in 1538. The present Rector is the 
Rev. W. C. Gibbs, M.A., of Jesus College, Cambridge. The 
patron is Viscount Cobham, who lately inherited this title from 
one of Marlborough's famous generals, at the death of the Duke 
of Buckingham and Chandos. 



STONE 






RSO D'ABITOT, in Domesday, held Stanes in 
Creslau (now Halfshire) hundred, containing six 
hides ; Turni and Euchil held it for two manors. 
Herlebald held it of Urso. In demesne are two 
ploughs and sc\cn villeins, and fifteen bordars 
with six ploughs. There arc tour slaves and a 

mill of three ovx. ; one lewe and a half of wood. In the time of 

King Edward it was worth 405., now 305. 

Emmeline, Ursos daughter and heir, carrietl the manor to 
her husband, Walter de Beauchamj). Some time after it 
belonged to Ralph de Somery. A family, " de Stanes," 
flourished here as early as Henry II., taking their name from 
the place. Thomas Foliot inherited the property in tlu' lime of 
Edward 111., h\ his marriage with a daughter of Richard de 
Stone. Su- Jolin h'oliot sold it to Sir Williaiii ('ourttyn ; it 



igS 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



afterwards passed to the Rushouts, and then to Mr. Cox, 
attorney, of Kidderminster, whose daughter sold it to Mr. John 
Baker. Mr. James Holcroft, of Stourbridge, is now lord of 
the manor. 

The hamlet of Dunclent, in the time of the Conqueror, was 
the land of St. Guthlac, and was held by Nigel. It afterwards 
became the property of the Beaucharaps, and was held under 
them by the Dunclents. (Pp. 55, 64.) Later on it came to the 
Barons of Abergavenny. Edward Broad, of Dunclent, had 
much influence at Kidderminster in the time of Charles I. 
From the Foleys it passed with the other estates to Lord Ward, 
and the Earl of Dudley is the present owner. The *' Monks' 
furlong " formerly belonged to the Abbot of Bordesley. 
Henry VIIL gave it to John Maynard, who conveyed it to 
Edward Broad. 

The church of St. Mary, consecrated by Bishop Gifford in 
1269, and originally dependent upon Chaddesley, was appro- 
priated to the College of Warwick. Thomas Forest, in 151 1, 
left land for the Lady Chapel. (Page 68.) The church was 
almost entirely rebuilt in 1831. The Register dates from the 
year 1601. 

vi 



CHADDESLEY CORBET. 



DDEVE, a woman, held Cedeslai of the King at 
the time of the Domesday survey. She had held 
it in the reign of Edward the Confessor. There 
were 25 hides with eight corn farms. Ten of 
these hides were free from geld, as appeared by 
the testimony of the county. In demesne were 
three ploughs and 33 villeins, and 20 bordars, and two 
priests with four bordars. Among them all they had 25 
ploughs. The number of bondmen and bondwomen was 
eight. Three mills paid 12 seams of corn. Two houses in 




THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. igg 

Worcester paid i2.d. In Wich five salt pans paid 21s. ^d. 
There was a wood of two lewes, and another wood of one lewe, 
T.R.E., and at the time of the survey, it was worth £12. 

Chaddesley was formerly included in Pyperode Forest, the 
name of which still survives in Peper Wood. The Corbets 
afterwards came into possession of this parish. Edward I. 
issued a mandate " to our beloved and faithful Peter Corbet " 
to take and destroy wolves wherever he could find them within 
the counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Hereford, Salop, and 
Stafford. From the Corbets Chaddesley passed to the Beau- 
champs, Barons of Bergavenny, and afterwards by purchase to 
John Pakington. Humphrey Pakington, his son, was seated at 
Harvington, a hamlet of the parish, and left by his wife, Abigail 
Sacheverell, two daughters co-heirs : Mary, who inherited 
Chaddesley, was married to Sir John Yate, Bart., of Buckland, 
Berks, and Anne to Sir Henry Audeley, of Bere-Church, in 
Essex. Lady Yate died 12 June, i6g6, aged 86, and was buried 
in the Lady Chapel of Chaddesley Corbet church, where may 
be seen a quaint epitaph by her daughter ApoUonia. She built 
and endowed three almshouses for widows. She was a strong 
supporter of the Roman Catholics, and sent a village lad, 
Sylvester Jenks, to Douay, who in 1686 returned to Harvington 
as missionary priest, and was made Chaplain to James II. In 
1688 a " Protestant mob" from Kidderminster attacked Har- 
vington Hall ; but the drawbridge was up, and they could do 
little damage. The old Hall is still standing, though its glory 
has departed, and soon it will become a complete ruin. At the 
top of a fine old oak staircase is " Lady Yate's Nursery," 
which communicates by a latticed door with an inner chamber, 
formerly decorated with foliage, vine stems, and pomegranates. 
This was the chapel, from which a narrow doorway gives an 
outlet to the roof and many little secret rooms, providing a 
refuge for the priest, and where even now one could play a good 
game at " hide and seek." Under the boards was a small 
secret closet for the sacred vessels. On the first floor was a 
large banqueting-hall, lately despoiled of its oak wainscotting. 
By lifting up a step in the staircase, entrance is gained to 
another InddLii room, 5fl. yin. by 5ft., and 6i"t. high. On its 
z 



200 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

floor lies to this day the self-same thick sedge mat bed on which 
the hidden priests lay. Air was admitted by a curious contri- 
vance in the roof; and in a small cupboard close at hand was 
a chink through which a message or food could be passed. 

In 1743 a new chapel was built, much used by the foreign 
artisans of Kidderminster and Stourbridge. This became a 
school-room, and was replaced by the present chapel, opened 
May 29, 1825. 

Father Wall had charge of Harvington for 12 years : he was 
taken prisoner at Rushock, tried at Worcester for high treason 
by Judge Atkins, and suffered death 22 Aug., 1679. His body 
was buried in St. Oswald's churchyard : his head is kept at 
Douay in the cloister of the English Friars. In 1879 a memorial 
crucifix was erected in the graveyard at Harvington. Charles 
Dodd, D.D. (Hugh Tootle), wrote his Church History, in 3 vols., 
at Harvington. He died Feb. 27, 1744. The sweet sedge 
(A corns Calamus), used formerly for strewing upon the floors of 
halls and chapels, grows abundantly in the moat of Harvington. 
Sir N. W. Throckmorton, Bart., the lord of the manor, is des- 
cended from Mary Yate, granddaughter of Lady Yate, who 
married Sir Robert Throckmorton, of Congleton, Warwickshire. 

The church of St. Cassyon at Chaddesley is very fine, and 
contains some good Norman and Decorated work. The font is 
very ancient. There is a recumbent figure of a Crusader, sup- 
posed to be a Corbet ; also a brass to Thomas Forest, keeper 
of Dunclent Park, his wife, and eleven children. There is no 
date, but by turning back to the will (page 68) it would appear 
to be about 151 1. 

William Beauchamp, Lord Bergavenny, gave to the collegiate 
church ol Warwick, of his ancestor's foundation, the advowsons 
of the churches of Spellesbury and Chaddesley Corbet. At the 
dissolution of religious houses the tithes were granted to the 
Corporation of Warwick, in whom they continue. 



THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. 



20I 



HARTLEBURY. 




URHRED, King of the Mercians, gave Hartlebury 
to the see of Worcester about 850. It is thus 
described in the Domesday survey : — " The 
Church of Worcester holds Huerteberie with six 
berewicks. There are 20 hides, and in demesne 
four ploughs, and 24 villeins, three bordars, and a 
priest ; among them all they have 21 ploughs. There are 12 
bondmen and 3 bondwomen, and two mills worth four shillings 
and 10 seams of corn. A wood one lewe long and half a lewe 
broad. In VVich five houses pa3ang five mitts of salt. In the 
time of King Edward it was worth sixteen pounds, now thirteen 
pounds and ten shillings." 

Bishop Walter de Cantilupe, a supporter of Simon de Mont- 
fort, began to fortify the Castle, which was embattled and 
finished by his successor, Godfrey Giffard, 1268. The gate- 
house was added in the reign of Henry VL by Bishop 
Carpenter. 

In 1646 the Castle was strongly fortified and held for the King 
by Captain Sandys and Lord Windsor, with 120 foot soldiers 
and 20 horse, and had provisions for twelve months. When 
summoned by Colonel Morgan for the Parliament, it surrendered 
in two days without firing a shot. The Parliamentary Com- 
missioners seized the Castle and manor, and sold them to 
Thomas Westrowe for ^3133 65. 8i. At the Restoration they 
were given back to the Bishop. The avenue of limes in the 
park was planted by Bishop Stillingfleet. Bishop Pepys made 
a present of the deer, which had been kept here from time 
immemorial, to Queen Victoria. The library was built by 
Bishop Hurd, who also presented to it the choicest works from 
the libraries of Pope and Warburton. The copy of the Iliad 
from which Pope's translation was made is among them. Some 
of the Castle moats have been filled up and laid out as flower 
gardens. 

In November, 1269, Bishop Giffard consecrated the church 
of St. James the Apostle. Bishop Sandys, in 1575. erected the 



202 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

present tower, and the chancel was rebuilt by a late !• Rector, 
the Rev. Samuel Picart, early in this century. The rest of the 
church was rebuilt in the Early English and Decorated styles 
in 1836, from the designs of Mr. Rickman. In 1877 the church 
was partially restored and refitted. In the churchyard is a 
stone coffin lid with floriated cross, supposed to be that of John 
de Rodeborewe, Rector in 1290, who founded a chantry in 
honour of tiie Blessed Virgin Mary, and endowed it with lands 
in Waresley, Whittying, Stone, and Shenston, in this manor. 
The communion plate is of gold, being the gift of good Bishop 
Lloyd and his wife in 1714. The font belonged to the old 
church. The Registers are interesting, and commence with 
1540. In them is this entry : — " A.D. 1553. Bishop Hooper 
was called before the Privy Council, August 22. He was sent 
prisoner to the fleet, September i. 1555, February g, burnt. 
Richard Patey, whom ye Pope has made Bishop in 1534, was 
now restored." 

The Rev. James Stillingfleet, when Rector in 1700, built the 
present parsonage house, a good specimen of the Queen Anne 
style. Among the Rectors have been some famous men, 
including Miles Smith, one of the translators of the Authorised 
Version of the Bible, Richard Bentley, the famous critic, &c. 
In the churchyard are the tombs of three Bishops of Worcester, 
Richard Hurd (1808), Robert James Carr (1841), and Henry 
Pepys (1861). A pretty half-timbered mission church was pre- 
sented to the parish in 1882 by the present revered Bishop, for 
which Mrs. Philpott provided the interior fittings. The 
Rectory of Hartlebury, in the patronage of the Bishop, is now 
held by the Rev. D. Robertson, Rural Dean of Kidderminster, 
who has a very interesting collection of portraits of former 
Bishops of Worcester. 

The Hartlebury Grammar School is mentioned as early as 
Richard II. ; but was refounded by Queen Elizabeth, who 
granted it a charter in 1558. 

In a secluded part of one of the glebe meadows is a curious 
hermit's cell, 18 feet by 12 feet, cut out of the rock. 



APPENDIX. 203 



APPENDIX 



iDomec1^a^ 1&oo\{, a,2). 1080, 

Rex Willielmus tenet in dominio Chideminstre, cum xvj Berewiches, 
Wenuerton, Trinpelei, Worcote, Frenesse, at alia Frenesse, Bristitune, 
Harburgelei, Fastochesfelde, Gurbehale, Ribeforde, et alia Ribeford, Sud- 
tone, Aldintone, Mettune, Teulesberge, Sudwale. In his terris, simul cum 
Manerio, sunt xx'i hida:. Hoc Manerium fuit totum wastum. In dominio 
est j caruca et xx villani et xxx bordarii cum xviij carucis et adhunc xxti 
carucae plus ibi possunt esse. Ibi ij servi et iiij ancillae et ij molini de xvj 
solidis et ij salinae de xxx solidis et piscaria de c. denariis. Silva de iiij 
iewis. In hoc Manerio tenet Praepositus terram unius Radchenistre et ibi 
habet j carucam et molinnm de v. oris. 

Ad hoc Manerium pertinet una domus in Wich et alia in Wirecestre 
reddentes x denarios. Totum Manerium T.R.E. reddebat xiiij libras de 
firma. Modo reddit x libras et iiij solidos ad pels. Silvam hujus Manerii 
posuit Rex in foresta. De terra hujus Manerii tenet Willielmus j hidam et 
terram unius Radchenistre et ibi habet j villanum et viii bordarios habentes 
iiij carucas et dimidiam. Valet xj solidos. De eadem terra tenet Aiulfus 
unam virgatam. Ibi j caruca et ij servi. Valet ij solidos. 



Charter of Ikino 1bciir\> tbc Scco^^. 

Henricus Rex, Dux Normannias et Aquitaniae, Comes, Archiepiscopis, 
Episcopis Comitibus, Baronibus, Vicecomitibus, Ministris, et omnibus 
fidelibus suis, Franciae et Angliae salutem. Sciatis me dedisse concessisse 
(in foedo) et hereditate Mansero Bysset dapifero meo, pro servicio sue in 
Worcestershere, Kedemynster pro xx//. in Wiltes, Combe pro xxvi//., in 
Gloucestershire Wikewood pro x//., in Hampshire Dounreston pro 
viij//. et Burgagium de Rokebon cum Hundredo et cum omnibus 
suis pertinentiis pro xli//. et pertinentiis de Lechedesham. Et praeterea 
dedi Wadersey que reddebat matri meo (sic) per annum xx5. scilicet 
in Wichenford. Quare volo et firmiter precipio quod ipse Manserus 
et heredes sui has terras predictas habeant et teneant de me et 
heredibus meis, bene et in pace, et honorifice, et hereditarie, in bosco, 
in piano, in pratis, pascuis, in viis et semitis, et in omnibus locis, cum 
soca et saca, et tol et them, et infantethef et outefantethef, et cum omnibus 
libertatibuE et liberis consuetudinibus, cum quibus aliquis Baronum meorum 
Anglie melius et quietius, (et) honorificentius tenet. Teste me ipso, Thoma 
Cancellario, Reginaldo Comite Cornubiae, Willelmo Comite Leicestriae, 
Henrico de Essex Constabulario, R. de Ham, Roberto de Lacy, Warraino 
hlio Barnard, fosclino Barrete, Roberto de Donstapell. Apud Cant [ujariam. 



204 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



" The Regester Boke of Weddings Christenings and Buryings 
made and kept in the parish Church of Kidderminster, from 
and beginning in January in the year of our lord 1539 unto this 
present yeare of our lord 1614 newly written at the special! 
Commandment of the right reverend father in god Henry Parry 
then Lord Byshopp of Worcester, John Colombine Clerke then 
being Viccar ther, John Clymar, John Peersall, Thomas Crane 
and Robert Hawkins, Churchwardens." 

[The entries of baptisms, weddings, and burials are all mixed 
up together, just as they happened to occur. Our fixed 
rules of spelling were not then in force. We first give a list of 
the surnames occurring in the registers in the period from 1539 
to 1565. The figures after the name show the date of its first 
entry. Few families could have been living here in the above 
time without the birth, wedding, or burial of some one or other 
of their members. Probable variations in the spelling of a 
name are indicated by brackets.] 



N.B. As these names 


are arranged accord 


ing to the 


alphabet, they will not 






be repeated in the 


Index. 






Aslow 


• 1540 


[Bucknell] 


• 154I 


Brincklow . . 


■• 1542 


Arche 


• 1540 


[Bucknyll] 


• 1546 


Bradburne 


• 1542 


Agraven . . 


. 1540 


Betenson . . 


• 1539 


Bolas . . . . 


• 1542 


Allen 


■ 1540 


Blount 


• i539 


Brooke 


•• 1543 


Agborow . . 


• 1541 


Butler 


• 1540 


Barnard 


• 1545 


[Abarowe] 


• 1542 


Boucher 


• 1540 


Brodwey . . 


• 1546 


Alchurch . . 


• 1542 


Bennett 


• 1540 


Bowyer 


• 1546 


Arthure 


• 1543 


Browne 


• 1540 


Bocher 


• 1546 


Apen 


• 1543 


Barnisley . . 


• 1540 


Brushwood 


• 1547 


Adams 


• 1545 


Barbor 


• 1540 


Ballard 


• 1550 


Avery 


• 1548 


Burfield ,. 


• 1540 


Burnell . . 


• 1550 


Amys 


• 1550 


Burlton 


• 1540 


Bradeley . . 


• 1550 


Ayre 


• 1552 


Bytham 


•• 1541 


Blysse 


•• 1551 


Abintone . . 


• 1559 


Badger 


• 1541 


Bourne 


• 1553 


[Abbington] 


• 1565 


Bancks 


• 1541 


Bache.. 


• 1560 


Aston 


• 1559 


[Banks] . . 


• 1547 


Bradford . . 


• 1560 


Astley 


• 1559 


Brotherton 


• 1541 


Bayleis 


• 1560 


Alridge 


. 1560 


Barret 


• 1541 


Benton 


• 1561 


[Albridge] 


• 1563 


Buckman . . 


• 1541 


Brocke 


• 1563 


Allden .. . 


• 1563 


Burdnyll . . 


• 1541 


Blassard . . 


• 1563 


Bowky 


■ 1539 


Baker . . . . 


• 1541 


Blythe .. . 


• 1563 


Buckenyll . . 


• 1539 


Benbowe . . 


• 1542 


Burrows 


• 1564 



APPENDIX. 



205 



Barnes 


• 1565 


Dawley 


• 1539 


Gossard 


• 1542 


Cowp 


• 1539 


Dolman 


• 1540 


Goodman . . 


• 1543 


Clymer 


• 1539 


Doolittle. . . . 


. 1540 


Goppe 


• 1544 


Carpenter . . 


• 1540 


Dawks 


• 1540 


Greene 


• 1545 


Cowall . . . 


• 1540 


Dallow , . . 


• 1541 


Gorst 


• 1546 


Clemens 


. 1540 


Dunclent . . 


• 1541 


Gerye 


• 1547 


Cooke 


• 1540 


[Duncklen] 


• 1542 


Garnat 


• 1549 


Cownde 


• 1540 


Dison 


• 1541 


Gyles 


• 1560 


Chapman . . 


• 1540 


Denson 


• 1541 


Gosnell 


• 1560 


Clarke . . . 


• 1540 


[Denston] . . 


• 1551 


Gouldsmith 


. 1560 


[Clearke] .. . 


• 1545 


Deane 


• 1542 


Gest 


• 1563 


Crompe 


• 1540 


Dike 


• 1543 


Glover 


• 1563 


Combes 


• 1540 


Dyplowe . . 


• 1543 


Gurden 


• 1564 


Capullwood 


• 1541 


Dangland . . 


• 1545 


Grayshill . . . 


• 1564 


Comber 


• 1541 


Delph 


• 1545 


Gillam 


• 1565 


Colbe 


• 1541 


Dicke 


• 1548 


Hay ley . . . 


• 1539 


Collett . . . 


• 1541 


Dedicote . . 


• 1550 


Hill 


■ 1539 


Costen 


• 1542 


Dunston 


• 1553 


Hoggeson . . 


• 1540 


[Coston] . . 


• 1545 


Done 


• 1559 


Howseman 


• 1540 


Clent 


• 1542 ' 


Dennis 


• 1559 


Hoggins . . . 


• 1540 


Cleyter . . . 


. 1542 


ap David . . 


• 15^ 


Hey 


• 1540 


Coke 


• 1543 


Davies 


• 1565 


Hurtill .. . 


• 1540 


Comberbach 


• 1545 


Elyatts . . . 


• 1539 


[Hurtyll] .. . 


• 1546 


CoUe 


• 1546 


Eyre 


• 1540 


Hancox 


• 1540 


Clemeford . . 


• 1546 


ap Evans . . 


• 1540 


Hulley . . . 


• 1541 


Carme 


• 1546 


Egeley 


• 1541 


Hondye 


• 1541 


Cowden 


• 1546 


[EugeleyJ . . 


• 1545 


[Handye] .. . 


• 1550 


Compayne.. 


• 1546 


Edmonds . . 


. 1560 


Heath 


• 1541 


Colyns 


• 1547 


Foxsall 


■ 1539 


Holyman . . 


- 1542 


Clare 


• 1547 


[FoxallJ . . . 


• 1541 


Haskett . . . 


• 1542 


Churchyard 


• 1547 


Fisher 


• 1540 


Hadley . . . 


• 1542 


Cully 


• 1547 


Fyndon 


• 1540 


Hassould . . 


• 1542 


Cokesey 


• 1547 


Fox 


• 1540 


Harries 


• 1543 


Crakeford . . 


• 1547 


Fearne 


• 1541 


Holmer 


• 1544 


Clemson 


• 1547 


Fleminge . . 


• 1543 


Hockham . . 


• 1545 


Calvert . . . 


• 1547 


Foster 


• 1544 


Hadgley . . . 


■ 1545 


Chaunce . . 


. 1548 


[Forster] . . . 


• 1550 


Hastings . . 


. 1546 


Crane 


• 1552 


Fowler 


• 1547 


Hullam . . . 


• 1546 


Cocke 


• 1559 


Fayrefield . . 


• 1550 


Hope 


• 1546 


Cagier 


■ 1559 


Freestone . . 


• 1559 


Hyweye 


• 1546 


Coppe 


• 1560 


Fartlowe . . 


• 1561 


Hewett . . . 


• 1547 


Cutler . . . 


. 1560 


Fawkner . . 


• 1565 


Has well 


• 1548 


Corbett . . . 


• 1563 


Grigorye . . 


• 1540 


Hall 


• 1550 


Cley 


• 1563 


Gryffith .. . 


• 1540 


Higgins .. . 


• 1550 


Cauke 


• 1564 


Gryffyne . . 


• 1541 


Hannsor . . 


• 1551 


Churchman 


• 15(^5 


Gnowsall . . 


• 1541 


Hawke 


■ 1552 


Cawdry 


. 1569 


Garden 


• 1542 


Holbecke .. . 


• 1559 



2o6 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Harrisone . . 


• 1559 


Lyrrocke . . 


.. 1560 


Pyggyne . . . 


• 1547 


Hayles 


• 1559 


Lyneall 


.. 1564 


[PiggineJ .. . 


• 1551 


Hansett . . . 


• 1560 


Myson 


.. 1540 


Pyle 


• 1547 


Hardye 


• 1560 


Mill . . . . 


.. 1540 


Parker . . . 


• 1548 


Hullbye . . . 


• 1560 


Mershe 


.. 1540 


Pickthorne 


• 1548 


Hopton 


• 1561 


Mychell . . 


.. 1540 


Pyke 


. 1548 


Hanburye . . 


• 1563 


ap Morgan 


.. 1541 


Patricke 


• 1550 


Hynston . . 


• 1563 


Moore 


.. 1541 


Page 


• 1552 


Hardwicke 


• 1563 


[More] 


•• 1550 


Person 


. 1560 


Horneblower . 


• 1563 


Mylls . . . . 


.. 1541 


Portman . . 


. 1560 


Hulkey .. . 


• 1564 


Malpas 


.. 1541 


Payton 


• 1561 


Heyes 


• 1564 


Manning . . 


.. 1542 


Player 


• 1 561 


Heminge . . 


• 1565 


Monnynge. . 


.. 1542 


Parkins 


• 1564 


Heyld 


• 1565 


Moundye . . 


•• 1543 


Rice 


• 1539 


Insall . . . . . 


. 1548 


[Monndy] . . 


.. 1546 


Rawlynes . . 


• 1540 


Jennyns 


• 1539 


Manneringe 


•• 1553 


Russell 


• 1541 


Jones 


• 1540 


Mathew 


•• 1559 


Rose 


• 1541 


Jewks 


• 1540 


Mason 


•• 1559 


Robins 


• 1542 


Jorden 


- 1541 


Middlehoppe 


.. 1560 


[Robynnes] 


• 1549 


Johnson 


• 1543 


[Middleshopp 


] • • 1564 


Riddle . . . 


• 1542 


Jokine 


• 1549 


[Middlesop] 


•• 1565 


Raibold .. . 


• 1542 


Jerves 


• 1564 


Machyne . . 


•• 1563 


Radford . . . 


• 1542 


Kynnerton.. 


• 1540 


ap Maddocke 


.. 1564 


Rogers 


• 1542 


Kempstowe 


• 1540 


Maynard . . 


.. 1564 


Richardsone 


■ 1543 


Kyles 


- 1545 


Mather 


.. 1565 


Kugg 


• 1548 


Kynrowe . . 


• 1545 


Morris 


.. 1565 


Rowland . . 


• 1549 


Kysone 


• 1547 


Overton 


•• 1559 


Richmond . . 


• 1559 


Kyrrye 


■ 1548 


Ap Powell . . 


•• 1539 


Ratcliffe . . . 


• 1561 


Kelleye 


• 1551 


Pirry . . 


•• 1539 


Reynolds . . 


• ^564 


Kyteley 


• 1549 


Potter.. .. 


.. 1540 


Ryste 


• 1564 


[Kiteley] .. . 


• 1551 


Parkes 


.. 1540 


Sharratt 


• 1540 


Kinderdale 


• 1559 


Penson 


.. 1540 


Skyler . . . 


• 1540 


Knotsfoord 


• 1559 


Perkes 


.. 1541 


Sturnye 


• 1540 


Kirkmans . . 


• 1560 


Parkeyate . . 


.. 1541 


Stone . . , . . 


• 1540- 


Karolynes . . 


• 1564 


Penn . . 


•• 1541 


Smyth 


• 1540 


Lyle 


■ 1539 


Pytt . . . . 


.. 1542 


Shelley . . . 


• 1540 


Longmore . . 


• 1540 


Pereson 


.. 1542 


Stampes 


• 1540 


Leycet 


■ 1540 


Pardoe 


•• 1543 


Stanley 


• 1541 


Latwey 


• 1540 


Purslowe . . 


•• 1543 


Serjeant 


• 1541 


Lee 


■ 1540 


Pynner 


•• 1545 


Scott 


• 1541 


Lache 


• 1540 


Pralle . . . . 


•• 1545 


Stowre 


• 1542 


Lowe 


• 1540 


Pargett 


•• 1545 


Shingleton.. 


• 1542 


Lyndon 


• 1542 


Plevey 


•• 1545 


Sherwood . . 


• 1542 


Launder 


• 1545 


Parsone 


.. 1546 


Sowthall . . 


• 1547 


Lydeyate . . 


• 1547 


Pellett 


.. 1546 


Somerfeild 


• 1547 


Lovell 


• 1550 


[Pillet] 


.. 1551 


Sebright . . 


• 1549 


Lake 


• 1559 


Pope . . 


•• 1547 


Sadler 


• 1551 



1 



APPENDIX. 



207 



Stanfield . . 

Stanford . . 

Sare . . 

Sampson . . 

Smalle 

[Smalej 

Symonds . . 

Standishe . . 

Symkes 

Stapull 

Skytt .. .. 

Sanford 

Sutton 
Tyllyate 

[Tyllet] . . 
Thomyns . . 
Tyler .. .. 
Thruston . . 
Taunton 
Tayler 
Togood 
Tudge.. .. 
Turner 
Troughton . . 
Towneclarke 
Thatcher . . 



1552 
1553 
1559 
1559 
1560 
1564 
1561 
1563 
1563 
1563 
1564 
1364 
1565 
1539 
1551 
1539 
1539 
1540 
1540 
1540 
1540 

1541 
1541 
1542 
1542 
1543 



Tyrer . . 

Tyncker 

Thatchem 

Tymkins 

Trussell 

Toy 

Underhill 

Vernam 

Vaughane 

Ware . . 

Wryte 

[Write] 

Warroll 

Wilks . . 

Wannerton 

Wordle 

[Woordyll 

Whytefoot 

Wynyatt 

Weston 

Walker 

Walton 

Wood . . 

Wats . . 

[Watts] 

Wynsham 



•• 1545 

•• 1559 

•• 1559 

. . 1 560 

•• 1563 

.. 1563 

.. 1548 

.. 1546 

•• 1559 

•• 1539 

■• 1539 

.. 1541 

•• 1539 

.. 1540 

.. 1540 

.. 1340 

.. 1546 

.. 1540 

•• 1541 

■• 1541 

.. 1541 

.. 1542 

•• 1542 

•• 1542 

•• 1543 

■• 1542 



[Vynsham 

Whyte 

Warton 

Willmotts 

[WolmottJ 

Wilcoxe 

Wilkinsone 

Wakeman 

Whytnyll 

Woodward 

Wyckins 

Whyttell 

Whytaker 

Watkys 

Wall .. 

Waynwright 

Waringe 

Whytmore 

Whytfeild 

Welshman 

Woldnall 

:01dnall] 

Whystone 

Wawyne 

Yorksheire 



1543 
1542 

1543 
1543 
1546 

1543 
1545 
1545 
1545 
1545 
1548 
1548 
1550 
1550 
1550 
1550 
1559 
1557 
1560 
1561 

1563 
1540 

1564 
1564 

1543 



[Previous to the adoption of the Gregorian or New Style in Enfjland in 1752, the les<al year 

began on March 25th.] 



1539- 



1540, 
1541- 



1542- 



January vi buried Johane the daughter of Thomas Hayley 
xxxi maried John Bowky and Erne Buckenyll 

Feb. XV. buried John the sonne of Michel! Betonson 
xvii buried Margret Jennyns widow 

March xvii buried William the son of Thomas Blount 

Feb. V maried John Combes and Joyce Blount 

October iv buried Sr, John Barret, preist 

XV ,, Sr. Nicholas write,* preist 
Nov. XV maried John Bucknell and Joane Burdnyll 
Aug. XXV buried Sr. Thomas Alchurch, pst 
Oct. i maried Thomas Jenyns and Agnes Benbowe 



* Sir Nicholas Wright was appointed Chaplain of St Mary's Chantry, 

iune 27th, 1499. The patrons were Sit John Mortimer, Thomas Jenyns, 
ailiff .William Colsell, and other " more worthy " parishioners of the Church 
of " Kydermyster." He appears to have held the Chaplaincy only till 1515. 

A A 



2o8 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

1543, April XX buried Sir Philip pardoe, preist 
Feb. xix buried Sir James Pirry,* preist 

1547. Aprill xvi was buried Mrs. Joane Blunt 

June xvii maried Mr. Simon Clare and Mrs. Agnes Blounte 
July xviii cristened John the sonne of Thomas Jenyns 
Oct. xii buried William Cokesey 

1548. Sept. viii maryed Kenellme Channce and Agnes Betenson 
March iii christened Dennis dr. of John Bucknell 

1549. May vi christened Elizabeth dr. of William Woodward 

,, xvii ,, Agnes dr. of George Kyteley 

Sept. xxvii buried Dame Agnes Blount t 
March v christened Agnes dr. of Humphrey Sebright 

1550. March xxx buried Sr, William Thomyns J preist late Vicar of Kither- 

minster 
Nov. vii buried Gilbert Clare gent 
March i christened Myrable dr. of Thomas Mytton 
1553. August the xxiij day was christned Alexander the sonne of Sir William 

Spittle, preist § 

[From September 24th, 1553, until June 24th, 1559, the record is blank.] 

In arid from the xxvth day oj June in the first yeare of the Raigne of our late 
Soveraigne Ladye Queen Elizabeth. 

1559. The xxvth day of June was maried John Clymar and Joane Hodgetts 
August xii buried Humfry Sebright 

Sept. I buried Edward Blount Esquier 

October xxviij christened Arthure the sonne of Nicholas Betenson 

Feb. xxi maried John Bucknell and Amye Best 

1560. July xxviij christened Agnes dr. of Robert Edgley. 
Feb. xvi christened Thomas son of William Jennyns 



* Sir James Pyry was presented to the Chaplaincy of St. Mary, Trimpley, 
by Sir John Atwode, April 20th, 1501, and held it till his death. 

t On the 20th of June, 14 Henry VIH (A.D. 1523), the rectory of 
Kidderminster was leased to Sir Thomas Blount, Agnes his wife, Edward 
Blount and Joan his wife, for 97 years. 

+ Sir William Thomyns was instituted to the Vicarage of Kidderminster 
on the presentation of Maiden Bradley Convent, July 12th, 1535. In 1542, 
June 6th, he was also presented by Henry VIH. to the Chaplaincy of St. 
Mary's Chantry. There is clearly no break in the continuity of the Church 
at the Reformation. 

§ Curate of the Parish Church. 



is6i. 



APPENDIX. 



209 



May xi christened Richard son of John Bowyer of Trimpley 
Sept. V christened Mary the dr. of Thomas Blount Esquier 
Sept. vii christened Thomas son of Richard Potter 



[Another blank occurs from Feb. 22nd, 1561, to October, 1563.] 



1563. October xxvi maried Edward Crane and Joane Gryffyne 
Nov. xii christened Gabriell son of John Brocke 
Jan. xxix maried Edward Toy and Marget Goston 

c. Nicholas, s. of Nicholas Freestone and Joane 

b. W. Jennyns 

b. Joane, d. of John and Alice Fawkner 

c. and b. John, s. of George and Joane Blount 

b. Margery Ley, wyddow 

c. Elizabeth, d. of Elize Cheltnam, and of Margery 

c. Wm., s. of Thomas and Joane Dolittle 
b. Thomas Blount, Esquier 

b. Richard Wilks, a bachelor from Mytton 
b. John Madeley, clerk 

b. Joane and Joane, the drs. of Thomas and of Joane 
Whyttell 

b. William Hornblower, of Netherton 

c. Henry, s. of Thomas and Agnes Toy, from Mytton 

b. Gods creature,* the sonne of John and Jane Glazzard 

b. Edward Newman Surgion a Londoner inhabiting with 
William Allen 

c. John, the sonne of Ralph Smyth, viccarr, and of Alice 

m. Thomas Webb of the Rock and Thomasin Hill, 

widdowe 

b. Henry Kempstowe, whoe was then high Baylife of 

Kidderminster 
was John Ball, of Carbee, in the County of Northampton 

and Margery his wife, passing through Kidderminster, 

when the said Margery was delivered of a man child, 

whose name was John, wher he was both baptized and 

buried 



1564- 


Aug. 


31- 


1565- 


Apr. 


20. 
29. 




June 


8. 


1566. 


Feb. 


3- 


1567- 


Aug. 


6. 


1568. 


Sept. 


21. 




Dec. 


2. 


1570- 


Nov. 


lO. 




Mar. 


3- 


I57I. 


Feb. 


I. 




Sept. 


23- 


1572. 


June 


21. 


1573- 


April 


14- 




May 


9- 




Nov. 


17- 


1574- 


April 


24. 




Dec. 


21. 


1575- 


April 


19- 



* This expression has given rise to much debate. It doubtless refers to 
the practice, common at that time, of lay baptism, so strongly objected to at 
the Hampton Court Conference of 1604. Compare the following entry in 
the Elmley Lovett Registers : — " 1588 Bu. Creature the daughter of Robert 
Briges being christd by the midwife was buried the xith day of December." 



2IO 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



1575- 


May 


4 




Aug. 


15 




Jan. 


28 


^57^- 


Apr. 


24 




Dec. 


16 
26 



Jan. 

Feb. 14 
Mar. 16 

1577. April 24 
June 6 



b. Mrs. Ann Clare, widdow 

b. Sir Nicholas Compton, Vicar of Stone 

b. Blanch, the wyfe of St. Warborowes pishe in 

Westchester 

m. Hugh Evans and Magdalenn Symcocks 

b. A poor Welshwoman from Wrignall 

b. Richard, the sonne of Rd. Ingram, gent., wch child 

horded at Thomas Evesans, in Kidderminster 
b. Joyce, the wyfe of Xtofer Cooke, from Haberley, and a 

creature of God, her sonne 

b. John Hill, weaver 

c. and b. John, s. of Thomas, a millner of the How Myll 

was christened and buried a Creature of God the daughter 

of Philip Whytefoot 
married Robert Smyth of Bwimingchamis Aston to Anne 

Lane of the parish Ketherminster with Willm Gosnell 

buried John Sergeant one of the high Baylifes of Kither- 

minster 
married Thomas Pytt and Clare Clare 
buried John Mason the fuller 
b- on A. powell a scholler of Oxford drowned at 

Severne in Wrignall 

c. Gilbert son of John Bourne and of Alis 

bd. Alice wyfe of Raphe Smyth viccar of Kitherminster 

bd. Wm sonne of Nicholas Bettison which pernshed by a 
fall out of the bell seller in the steeple and fell through 
all the flowers to the ground, 
md. Rowland Blunt and Alice Wilmot 
bd. Alice wyfe of Edward Sebright of Horstone 
b. Julyan Clowde from Mr. Coles of the Talbott 

b. Lawrence Cromwell, a poore man 

b. a child from Roberts the welchmans in Coventry Street 
b. Thomas Churchyard with the Crooke legg 
b. old Joane a poore woman of the Church Hill out of the 
Chamber next to Mr. Blount's house 

b. Edmund Jurden of Worcester being drowned by mis- 
fortune 

m. Xtofer Symcocks unto Joane Holmer 

b. Symon Clare Esquier Justice of Peace and Quorum in 

the county of Worcester 
b. Agnes the wyf. of the said Symon Clare Esquier 
b. Robert Jervice one of the nomber of the highe Baylifes 





.. 


23 




July 


3 
25 




Dec. 


23 


1577- 


Feb. 


26 


1578. 


June 


18 




July 


6 
17 




Sept. 


20 


1579- 


Apr. 


23 




June 


13 




Aug. 


II. 




Nov. 


23- 



30- 

1580. June 12. 
July 23. 

„ 29. 
Aug. 16. 



APPENDIX. 



211 



1581. June 10. 
Feb. 26. 



Mar, 12. 

1582. Apr. 30. 

Aug. 27. 

1583. Apr. 12. 
May 3. 
Dec. 30. 
Mar. 13. 



1584. 



Sept. 9. 
Nov. II. 



1586. Apr. 4. 
May 30. 
July 20. 
Aug. 28. 
Oct. 4. 
Dec. 8. 

1587. June 10. 

1588. 

May 4. 

Aug. 12. 

Mar. 18. 

1590. June 16. 
Aug. 8. 

1591. Mar. 6. 

1594. July 30. 

1595. Nov. 2. 
Feb. 13. 

1596. Apr. 30. 
Aug. 21. 
Nov. 8. 

Dec. 20. 

1597. Mar, 2. 
April 25. 



m. Thomas Dawxe unto Alice Doolittle 

b. one John Stevens A stranger and an inhabitant of A 

pishe in Lancashire called Armestirke (? Ormskirk), a 

surgion by professione 
b. Richard Rysse 

b. John Hawwoth of Wymstowe his wyf Margrett being 
at his buriall 

b. Margrett the wyf of John Serjeant Highe Baylife 

c. Thomas the sonne of Roger Hurtyll and Margerye 
b. Mrs. Alice Dawks the wife of Mr- Henry Dawks 

b. Margarett a poore wench 

c. Magdalen the dr. of Mr, Edmond Burfeild and of Anne 

c. John son of John Costen 
b. John Nott from the Crowne 

b. John Burlton, Tanner from Wribnall 

c. Richard son of Symon Clare and Joane 
b. Alice wyfe of Thomas Jennings 

b. A man from Biackestone that was drowned 

b. Davy a welsh boy. 

b. A woman that was found dead in Burlashe by Mr. 

Edward Blount Esq. and vewed by vi honest men 
m. Evan ap Powell and Marye ap Meredith 
b. Magdalen dr. of Edmond Burfeild, Clearke 

b. Raphe Smyth viccar of the Towne 

c. Alice dr of Nicholas ffayreyeare, Clearke 

b. Anne wyfe of Mr. John Hassoll 

c. Thomas son of Thomas Doolittle 

c. Merriall the daughter of Sir ffrauncis Clare, knight 

c. John son of Nicholas Freestone 

b. John Legg from Heythey Myll 

b. Mrs. Margerye Blount 
b. a fondling from Wrignall 

b. Mrs. Merrell dr. of Mr. Francis Clare, Esquier 
m. William Stooke and Margaret Mason 

m. Nicholas Allyne of VVakysbery Court and Anne 

Woldnall. 
m. Mr. John Dawks and Anne Aston of Tewxburye 

c. *John son of John ffreestone. 

b. owld Elizabeth Damice one of the Alms Howse 



* John Freestone was nominated the first Bailiff of Kidderminster by the 
Charter of King Charles 1, 1637, 



212 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

1598. Jan. 22. bd. Wm. Rayson of Worcester clothworker from the Bow 

(?) Myll at Nethermytton 

1599. Feb. 24. A lycence of eating flesh made the xixth day of the same 

moneth for Nicholas Bowyer the younger for recovery 
of his health his said sickness still continuing was 
recorded according to the statute 
* Willm Smith Curate Thomas Pytt Churchwarden 

1600. Feb. 6. cd. John son of John Radford of the porche 
Feb. 8. bd. Ezechiell the sonne of John Stuard the Jockye 

1601. Oct. 13. b. Hughe boucher of Puckstone 
Oct. 22 b. Rowland Blount 

F"eb. 5. m. Mr. John Acton to Mrs, Anne Clare 
Mar. 6. b. Joane wife of Thos. Jenens 

1602. June 15. m. Thomas Jenens and Eliz. Edgley 

Aug. 12. b. John Raybold servant with Humfrey Doolittle in 

Worcester Street 
Oct. 31. c. Edward that found at the Lee 
Nov. 17. m. John Wildgoose and Alice Blount 

1603. Feb. 15. b. Nicholas Betenson Deacon of the Church of Kither- 

minster 

1604. Ap. 30. b. Anne the wife Philip Flanders and John his sonne of the 

sicknes t 
May 5. b. Nicholas Lowe and his mother of the sicknes 
May 26. b. Mr Rd Child Highe Baylife 

1607. Dec. 13. c. Lettice d. of Edward the Singer 

1610. Ap. 4. b. Wm. Sebright 

Jan. 20. b. Mr John Gower gentleman 

1612. Mar. 28 b. Mr Gilbert Blount Esqre 

May 13. b. Mr Thos Dawks one of the hihe Baylifes 

Sept. 14. b. Mr Thomas Pytt one of the hihe Baylifes 

Sept. 28. c. Anne d. of Mr Walter Blount 

1614. Oct. 26. b. Margrett Collyns a poore wench yt went from Conn- 

stable to Connstable to wrignall. 
Dec. II. b. a creature of Christ the daughter of John George from 
Mytton 

1615. Dec. 5. b. John Denson, A poore man that came from Bewdley to 

bee conveyed to Belbroughton and died by the way 
with a certificate from Mr Milson Baylife in the 
yeare 1615 



* An Act for the increase of fishermen and mariners, 5 Eliz. (1563). Any 
person eating flesh on Wednesdays, &c., shall pay a fine of £2 or suffer 
three months' imprisonment. 

t The Plague (Gaol Fever) of 1604 ravaged all England. 115 died at 
Bewdley in 5 months. In London with a population of '150,000 it is 
computed that 30,000 perished. 



APPENDIX. 



213 



I 



m. Thos. Doolittle and Margaret Bowyer 

c. Jane d. of Edward Dawks and Ales his wife 

b, Sorobabell the son of William Seelee 

b. Parnell the wyf of Richard Bucknell 

m. John Heath * preacher of gods word and Mary 

Houlden 
m. John ffrestone and ffrancis Pytt. 

b. the honorble ladye Madame Mary the wyfe of Sr. 

Edward Blount knight t 
m. Thomas Wyldye of Worcester and Ursula Soley of 

Bewdley 
was Mr. John Odwell inducted viccar of Kidderminster 
The same day buried John Davids A freemason 

c. Thomas son of Henry Sergeant and Bridgett 

b. Andros from Lickhill within the libertie of Mitton 

b. Wiliam Child one of the low bailiffs 

c. Frauncis the dr. of Rowland Hill and of his 

wife 
c. John the sonne of Richard Somers 
c. Dorothie dr. of Thomas Woodward of the Angell 
b. Margarett dr. of Mr. Thomas Blount of Astley 
m. Henry Dyson of Inkeberow Gent and Jane Fownes 

widdow 
b. Muriell lady Clare + 

b. John Woodward of the Green being drowned 

c. Elizabeth dr of Xtofer Wade Citizen of London and of 

Elizabeth 

Thomas Causten had a certificate for marriage at Wor- 
cester 

b. Mr. Thomas Acton from Comberton 

b. Abraham Woolverley killed at Habberley 

b. olde Edward Crane of Haberley 

b. Henry son of Henry Baker and of Alice his wyf from 
Blackestone 

b. one Griffyne Powell supposed a straunger and wan- 
dering person found dead in a barne at Wribenhall 
whoe died as is supposed about St. Andrewstide before, 
whoa was afterward knowne to be maried and dwelling 
in Ludlow, and by his mother a woman of good estate, 

and his brother with her of the pishe of neer 

Ludlow, cau.sed him to he taken up, whome haveing 
see viewed shee acknow Irdgcd him to be her sonne 



I6I6. 


Ap. 10 




July 17 




Oct. 24 




Feb. 9 




Feb. 15 


I6I7. 


Nov. 14 




Feb. 10. 


1618. 


June 12 




June 22 




Oct. 18 




Mar. 23 


I6I9. 


May 16 


1620. 


Julye 16 




Nov. 26 


I62I. 


April 2 




May 27 




Nov. I 




Nov. 13. 




Jan. 23 




Jan. 30 



1622. April 24. 

April 26. 
May 8. 
Julye 30. 
Sept. 24. 

Feb. 7. 



* Incumbent of St. Anne's, Bewdley. 

t Lady Mary Neville, sister of Lord Abergavenny : one of the two ladies 
in alabaster, now lying near the lower entrance of the Church. 
I Wife of Sir Francis Clare, and mother of Sir Ralph Clare. 



214 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



1622. April I. 



1623. 


June 


12. 




June 


30. 




Aug. 


6. 




Sept. 


22. 

23- 




Dec. 


6. 




Dec. 


24. 




Jan. 


3- 




Jan. 


29. 


1624. 


May 


20. 




June 


24. 




July 


8. 




Aug. 


4- 




Nov. 


5- 




Mar. 


19- 


1625. 


July 


3- 




Oct. 


12. 




Jan. 


18. 




Mar. 


17- 
20. 


1626. 


Aug. 


26. 


1627. 


June 


19. 




Oct. 


19- 




Nov. 


15- 




Nov. 


30. 




Jan. 


29. 




Mar. 


17- 


1628. 


Mar. 


25- 




May 


10. 




June 


14- 



c. Margarett the dr of Rd Hickotts of the pishe of St. 
Chadde in Shrewsbury and of Mary his wife brought 
to bedd at Widow Stevens in Wribbenhall comeing up 
Severne in a trow with her husband 

m. Thomas Balamy and Elizabeth Cowp 

b. an abortive the sonne of Cesarr Hawkins Esquier and 

of Priscilla his wife 
b. Alice Edgley widdow from Parke Attwood 
b. owld Mr. James Taylor 
a boy from Netherton being a stranger and wandering 

beggar owt of Chesheir 
b. owld Thomas Walker of the well in Worcester Street 
m. Simon Potter and Dorrytie Wall by lycence at the 

Rock 

b. Anne a poore girle called blacke Anne 

b. a poore wandering beggar man a stranger unknowne 

who died in a Barne at Nethertoa 

b. a servant dwelling at the Bull 

b. owld father Symcoxe 

c. Mary dr. of Richard Sommers and of Joyce his wife 

b. Mr. Symon Clare batchelor 

c. John son of Nicholas Pearsall and Alice 

c. John the sonne of Thomas Lea and of Jane his wife 

Richard Baker had a certificat for marriingof Jone Marice 

at Dowles 
c. Honora dr of Richard Harding Esquier and of 

Catherine 
c. John the sonne of Edward Pytt and of Mary 

b. Richard ffreestone, Deacon 

c. Elizabeth dr. of Captaine Edmund Woodward 

b. Jo3.Trfi the wyfe of Richard Sommers low bayliffe 

m. Mr. Willm. Glasbrooke and Anne Longmore at Wor- 
cester by Lycense 

b. John Snowe a poore impotent man travailinge from the 
the Councell in ye Marches of Wales dyed at Blake- 
stone 

b. Mr. John Odell vickar 

Thomas Lee had a certificate to marry with Mary Mowle 

of the pishe of St. Peters in Droytwitch 
m. Mr. William Smith and Mrs. Anne Odell 

c. Jozias a childe founde neere the Whooe brooke 

c. Mary dr of Elizabeth Foster a poore walking woman 
m. Thomas Willmott and Elizabeth Shenston 
c. Marryan dr of Rowland Hill and Mary 



APPENDIX. 



215 



162S. 



1629. 



r 



I 



1633. 



1634. 



1635. 



June 


18 


July 


24 


Aug. 


29 


Jan. 


5 


July 


14 


Oct. 


20 


Dec. 


20 


Dec. 


25 



1630. July 8. 



Nov. 
Feb. 



18. 
24. 



1631. Aug. 17. b 



Oct. 
May 



27. 
9- 



June 18. 



Jan. 


30- 


May 


24. 


June 


8. 


Jan. 


24. 


M 


31- 


Feb. 


I. 


Mar. 


21. 


Ap. 


30. 


Aug. 


26. 


Oct. 


6. 


Oct. 


14. 


Dec. 


13- 


,, 


29. 


Feb. 


14. 


Mar. 


21. 



b. Symon Brotherton 

m. Michaell Betenson and Margarett Cheltnam 

c. John son of Mr. William Glasbrooke and Anne 

c. Jane dr. of Mr. Rd. Barbar and Katheryne from Blake- 
stone 

b. Mrs. Alice Dawkes Widdow 

b. a poore traveilling child out of Mr. Burton's barne 

c. Edward son of Alexander Caple A mountebank 

b. Hugh Stevens that was drowned at Bewdley in 

Severne 
b. Margery dr of David Jones an extravagant and of 

Margarett Meredyth bastard 
b. Sir Edward Blount Knight 
b. the child wch was found drowned at wrignall being 

made away by the mother of it whose name was Joane 

Lyll'ey for wch fact she suffered at Worcester the 4th 

of Aprill next after the Gaole Delivery 
Humfrey Grove of the Chaunter house neere Alveley 

servant to Mr. Humfrey Burlton of Wrignall 
b. Symon Smith bellman 

b. Mrs. Alice the wyfe of Mr. John Daukes one of the 

High Bayliffs 
were marryed Henry ffylldust and Joane Hodgetts ye wch 
marryed Mr. Samuell Attwoodd Esq. Elisabeth 
Baskervill by lycense 

c. Mary dr. of Stephen Bache 

b. Newporte son of Mr. John Stepkin and of Judyth 

c. John son of John Baskerville and of Mary 
b. Thomas Hill Clothworker 

b. Rd. Raynolds who was starved to death in the snowe 

b. Thos. Wells starved in the Snowe 

b. Anne wife of Mr. Thomas Bray doctoure of Phissicke 



b. John son Symon Potter 

b. Welch John 

c. Sissillia dr. of Mr. Daniell Dobbins Esquier and of 
Ursula his wife 

c. William son of Josephe Amphlett and of Johane 

b. Richard Cleeve clericus ecclesiae 

b. Anne dr. of Mr. ffrauncis Clare and of Anne 

b. Mr. Symon Pitt one of the High Bailiffs 

b. Edward son of Phillip Flaunders 

[At the end of Volume. I is engrossed " A true Copie of the letter of that 
Worthy and Charitable christian William Sebright of London Esquier 
expressing for his Guifl of rhirieen I'ence weekly in wheaton bread &cj'; 

b 13 



2i6 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

" Forasmuch as certain pishioners of Kidderminster whose names are 
subscribed have by the consent of the Viccar and Churchwardens for the 
tyme being newlie enlarged nyne seats next unto the middle Alley of the 
Church at their owne pp. Costs and charges, amounting to the some of 
fowerty shillings or thereabouts ; It is concluded and agreed that the said 
nyne persons shall have convenient Roome in the said Nyne seats soe by 
them repaired as shalbe fytting for them the better thereby to heare divyne 
service, and the word of God read and preached unto them, soe that they 
may from tyme to tyme resorte thereunto without the lett molestation or 
disturbance, of any the rest of 'he pishioners that would displace them and, 
seat others therein. For wytness whereof we the said Viccar and Church- 
wardens have hereunto set our hands this present Aprill the eighteenthe. 

Anno Dni 1620." 

[Names cut; out.] 



VOLUME II. 

1636. This Register Booke was begun on the first day of June 

1636 

June 24, c. Hanna dr. of John Wallis and Susanna 

November b. Frauncis the sonne of Henry Baker the xxth. day whoe 
was drowned at the Callis Bridge in a greate floude 
by a fall of a horsebackethe xiiith day of the same: 
moneth and not found'until the sayd xxth day 

Dec. 21. c. John the sonne of Elizabeth Tyllam filius populi 
„ 28. c. Anne dr. of Mr. Frauncis Clare and of Anne 

29. c. Candida dr. of Mr. William Welsh and of Elizabeth; 

Feb. 27. c. Mary dr. of Joseph Amphlett and of Johane 

1637. April 13. c. Ursula dr. of Daniel Dobbins Esquier and of Ursula 
June. William the son of Mr. James Kyrle somtyme sojourninge- 

at Mr. Danyell Dobbins whoe went to Beawdley 
schoole was there drowned in Severne by bathinge- 
himselfe and was buried on the 14th day 
Sept. 8. b. Thomas Sutton of the sicknes 

[In October 60 deaths from the " sicknes."] 
Oct. 20. The searching woman buryed the same day of the sicknes. 
[In November 1637 there were 62 deaths from the sick- 
ness. In November 1636 there were the average; 
number of 7, which included one by drowning] 
[In December 47 deaths from the plague.] 
P^eb. 14. b. Robert Morris servant to Sir Raphe Clare Kt 

18. c. William the son of Thomas Lea and of Jane 
Mar. I. c. Mary dr of Thomas Wylkes and of Joane by Mr. Turner, 
of Mytton 



I 
I 



APPENDIX. -iif-/ 



1638. July I. c. Nicholas son of Nicholas PearsaU and of Alice 

25. m. Symon Clymer and Anne Hassold 
Sept. I. c. Elizabeth dr of Mr. Nathaniell Eston cl and of 

'Elizabeth 
Dec. 5. b. Marmaduke Corbett 

1639. c. Thomas son of Thos. Cheltnam and of Mary 
b. William son of Richard Bradeley deceased 

b. Elizabeth dr of Francis Holloway and of Jane 

c. Elizabeth dr. of John Cholmeley Esq. and of Anne 

m. John Baskervile and Alice Baker 

m. Thomas Bucknell and Florance Pryce 

c. Ursula dr. of Thomas Dannce and of Ursula uxor 

m. Moses Mason and Annie Suffild 

c. Dorothy dr of Daniell Dobbins Esq and of Ursula uxor 

c. Thomas son of Bartholomew Perrins and of Margaret 

c. Cordilla dr of Humphrey Pagett and Alice 

m. Frauacis Bradeley and Elizabeth Peeters 

b. a Cripple wch dyed in the prison 

b. Elizabeth dr. of John Chomley Esquier and Anne 
m. Richard Bucknell 6c Margarett Malpks 

b. John Burnham Master of Arts and Schoolemaster 

c. Alice dr of And re we George a walkinge body 
b. a pliament souldier 
b. a souldier 

Aug. 22. b. James Phewtrell a souldier 

b. John Windie alias Walker whoe was slain at Cawdwall 
b. Samuell Taylor a ragman drowned in ye well in 

Coventry Streete 
b. a strainge woman wounded at ye battell in Leicester- 

shiere 
b. Rd. the son of Rd. Pitt gent. & of Joice his wife who 
bathinge himselte in Stower was there unfortunately 
drowned 
Nov. 8. b. a souldier belonginge to S"" Thomas Aston slaine at 

Trimpley 
Nov. II. b. John Vygons a souldier under Captaine Dunghill 
Nov. 14. b. another of his souldiers one Giles both slain in ye 

towne 
Mar. 13. b. Captaine Charles Dungham and Richard Kerby one of 
his souldiers 
1646. April 19. b. John Jones a pliamt souldier slaine at the skirmish at 
Worcester 
Dec. 28. c. John ye sonne of a wanderinge woman from fraynch 
Jan. 17. c. Thomas ye sonne of Thomas Doolitile & of Anne 
164.7. •^"g- t). Mr Samuell Attwood Esqr 





July 


26. 




Jan. 


I. 




Feb. 


13- 


1640. 


April 


ij- 




May 


26. 




June 


7- 




Aug. 


16. 




Sept. 


3- 




Oct. 


iS. 




Nov. 


3- 
21. 


I64I. 


May 


28. 




Nov. 


^5- 


1642. 


Mar. 


2. 


1643. 


Nov. 


31- 


1644. 


June 


15- 




,, 


21. 




Aug. 


22. 




Mar. 


II. 




n 


15- 


1645. 


July 


I. 




July 


7- 





Dec. I. 


1650. 


April 25. 


I65I. 


June 22. 




July 14. 




July 24. 




Feb. 3. 




Mar. 4. 




22. 


i653. 


July 25. 




Aug. 15. 




Sept. II. 



218 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

1649, Aug. 6. b. Elias Harryts, Mary his wife their sonne and daughter 
all slayne by the fall of a tree 
m. James Pitt & Elizabeth Cooper at Dowles 

b. Guendoline ye wife of James Tolbutt 

b. Mistress Margrett Merricke widdow gent 

b. Mary Cheltnam whoe was scalded in Rd. Clarkes 

Furnace 
m. John Pearsall and Rebecka Bellarmy 
m. Mr. Richard Serieant and Mtris Hannah Burnham at 

Cosson in ye parysh of Woorfield 

b. Mr. John Pitt scoolmaster 

c. Sarah dr of Mr. Rd. Serieant & Hannah 

m. Thomas Pardoe and Sarah Naysh by Mr. Osland of 
Bewdley 

b. Alyce dr. of Richard Bough Esquire who dyed at Mr. 
Danyell Dobbins his house 

b. ould John Hill a pfessed doctor 

A true and pfett Register of all births of children, weddings 
and burialls on and after the 29th Sept. A.D. 1653 by 
Edward Climar late before chosen and elected Register 
by the Vote of the townesmen and pryshoners at a 
publique meetinge, and afterwards Sworne by Mr. 
Lawrence Pearsall then Justice of the Peace according 
to an Act of Pliament of the 24th of August. 

1653. Oct. 14. b. Thomas Crane ye Eldar from Spennylls. The 6th, 

13th, & 20th days of this instant November was an 
intention of marryge published in the church accord- 
inge to ye Act of pliament at the clause of the 
morninge Exercise betweene Edward Climar the sonne 
of John Climar weaver And Cicillie the dr. of Richard 
Raynolds dyer none excepting against it by me 
Edward Climar Registar. 
Dec. 3. day was marryed Edward Climar abovementioned and 
Sycillie & pronounced husband and wife by Mr. 
Thomas bellamy then High Bayliffe and Justice of the 
peace and quorum 

m. William Warren and Elizabeth Attwood of Wolverley. 

1654. July 13th &c. m. William Kendrick of the Chaddesley Corbett 

to Ann Amphlett of Elmley Lovet widow of Wm. 
Amphlett, of Ambersley 

Oct. 17. Samuel Whitefoote of Woolverley and Ursula Kettle of 
Kingsnorton came to Kidderminster with 2 certificates 
under the hand of Mr. Thos. Baldwin and Mr. Francis 
Pottar and married by Mr. Nycholas Pearsall High 
Bayliffe. 



APPENDIX. 21^ 



^654. Feb. 26. William Cardall of Hagley & Mary the dr of Mr. Nycho. 
Addenbrooke of Ould Swinford came with certificates 
from Mr. Gervace Bryan & Mr. Bartholomew Kettle 
&c. Upon sight whereof they were joined in marriage 
by Mr. Thos. Bellamy. 

30 Aprill 1655. Cornelius Holland and Jane Rushmore (?) of the payshe 
of oulde Swinford came &c. and were joined in 
marriage by Mr. Lawrence Pearsall High Bailiff 

1655. Mar. 23. Roger Shakespeare and An Davis both of Dudley came &c 

1656. April. published the intention of marriage in our markett place of 

kiderminster at the season appointed by the late Act 
of pliamt between William Thomason of Wolverley &c 
July 24th &c. in our mkett place Wrofe Rogers of the Cittie of 
Hereford Esquier and Mary Sallway Spinster the dr. 
of Mtriss Dorothie Sallway of Kidderminster &c 

165C. Sept, 13. b. ffraunces the wife of John Carpenter junior beinge the 
firste Corps the greate belle was runge for after he 
was caste 
Oct. 26. b. Mr. William Speerels at Stone church 

1657. June 25. b. Waltar Hardman whoe was slaine by blankley 

Oct. 23. William Read of Mamble gent and Elizabeth Dyckins of 
Bobbington brought a certificate under the hand of 
Mr. John Boroston pryshe Register of Bewdley in wh 
he certified that by his appointment the intention of 
marriage had been published in their Market place of 
Bewdley without exception &c. Declared &c. by Mr. 
Wm. Mountford Justice of the Peace 

1658. Mar. 28. baptised Thomas son of Mr. Lawrence Pearsall & Joan 
c. Joseph & Benjamin sonns of John Hill 
c. Aquila and Priscilla children of Thomas Simon 

1659. July 12. m. Waltar Yarrington of Astley and Margrett Myllton of 
Stower brydge by Mr. Samuell Bowatter 

c. Eliz. dr of Nevill Simonds 

Mti'is Roberta Dyson was carried to Inkberough and ther 

buried 
b. Mr. John Rowden 
b. Ann George whoe poysoned herself found Guiltie of hir 

own death by the Jurors then chosen 
Thomas Woodward and Mary Richards were joined in 

marriage by Mr. Richard Baxtar minister 

1660. June 26. m. Edward Baxtar of Layton, Salop joynar and Joyce 
Browne of this pryshe by Mr. Waldron 

Mr. Thomas Bawldwin minister of Gods word and M<riss 
Elizabeth Soley were joined in marriage by Mr. 
Richard Serieant minister of Stone 



Mar. 


28. 


June 


13- 


Aug. 


22. 


July 


12. 


July 


3- 


•• 


12. 


„ 


24. 


Aug. 


30. 


Aug. 


15- 


June 


26. 


May 


24. 



220 A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 

1660. July 22. c. John s. of John Baskarvield and Katharine 

Sept. I. b. Mtr.s Marie Thomas wyddow late wyfe of Mr. John 
Thomas late minister at Over Arley 

Mar. 5. b. a creature of Christ the sonne of Edward Walker 
apothecarie 

1661. May 20. c. Abigaile dr of Mr. Rowland Spencer 
Oct. 23. b. Marie wife of Joiin Clare 

Dec. 27. b. Margrett wife of Richard Bucknell of fraynsh 

1662. April 9. m. John liaskarvield to isable Johnsone 

1663. Nov. S. b. Joyce the wife of Mr. Francis Clare 
Feb. I. b. Joane Yarrenton wid 

1664. Aug. 22. c. Mariell dr of Mr. Francis Clare & Mary uxor 
Oct. 20. b. Mr. Abraham Plymley 

1665. Jiune 30. c. John son of John lieuchampt & Judith 
Mar. 20. b. Elizabeth wife of Mr. George Dance Vicar 

1666. Oct. 26. b. Edward Burton who was kild at ye walke mill at 

Broadwaters 
Dec. 4. b. a Welshman from the bell 
Mar. 5. b. Thomas Harcot kiJd with a cart coming from Bewdley 

1667. April 3. b. Mary dr. of John Rosse who came with a passe 
Nov. 23. b. a Innocent a dr. of Thomas Hawkes 

Mar. 23. c. Henry son of Henry Addenbrooke 

1668. Jan. 23. c. Joseph the son of John Williams and Joane ux 
Feb. 21. b. Winifred Wilmot widow 

Sept. 17. b. Mtris White widow 

1669. Oct. 15. c. Thomas the son of Thomas Leah & Eliz. uxor 
Feb. 12. c. William the son of Thomas Lea and Grissell uxor 
Mar. I. c. Ann the dr. of Thomas ffoley Esq^e & Elizabeth 

1670. April 23. b. Sr Ralph Clare 

Sept. 3. c. Thomas s. of Thomas Perrens and Mary uxor 

Nov. 3. b. Richard Aumphlit 

Nov. II. c. Ralph s. of Mr. Francis Clare & Mary 

Dec. I. b. Humphrey Whittell 

Jan. 7. b. John s. of Thomas Hancox and Mary 

1671. Mar. I. b. Nicholas Penn of Trimpley 

1672. April 15. m. Christopher Humphries & An Proudly 

May 5. c. Thos. son of Robert Vernon and Mary of Ribbenhall 
Dec. 4. c. Daniell s. of Beniamine Broome & Margery ux 
1674. This Register Booke was bought by Thomas Perins & 

Edward Walter churchwardens for the Burrough & 
Wm. Bowyer & John Crane churchwardens for the 
ftoreigne in the yeare supradicto Pretium £1 15s. od. 
Mrs. Dorothy wife of Mr. Adam Hough. 
Thomas the sonn of Thos ffoley Esq. & Elizabeth 
Mr. Charles Bowyer and Mary Cooper 
John son of Benjamin Broome and Alargery 



1673- 


June 28. 


b. 




Nov. 12. 


c. 


1675. 


Sept. 24. 


m 




Oct. 27. 


c. 



I 



APPENDIX.. 2-2T 



1675. Jan. 4. Remember betweene 7 and 8 aclock at night an earth- 
quake 

b. Mr. Wm. Kent an exciseman 
m. Richard Hill & Eliz. Amis 
m. Thomas Hill & Anne Tilt 
m. Ralph Cheltnam & Eliza Bradley 
m. George Patchett and Clariencha Geligoe 
m. Stephen Lea & Margaret Callow 

c. Edward sonn of Thomas ffoley Junior Esijnire & 
Elizabeth ux 

c. Simon s. of Simon Deage Esq. and Mary 
c. Stephen s. of Stephen Lea and Margaret 
m. Mr Thomas Baldwin & Elianor Bennett by licence 
c. Elizabeth a childe that was founde in the common 
water lade in the Mill strete 

b. Margaret wife of Edward Crane in woollen* 

c. Richard s. of Mr. Rd. White Vicar & Mary 
m. Robert Willmott and Sarah Willton by lycence 
c. John s. of Thos. Hill and Ann feltmaker 
borne Martha d. of Thomas ffoley Esq. & Eliz 

b. John Broome m wollen 

c. Richard s. of Rd. Bottlestaff & Alice 
borne Rd. son of Thomas Foley Esq. & Eliz 
borne John s. of Mr. Thomas Baldwin & Elionar 
b. Francis Clare Esquier in woollen 
m. Elias Artch and Mary Rowley 

b. Robert Heming who died in the heath goeing to Bewdley 
m. Joseph Housman & Prudence Clymer 

b. Alice (who was slayne by her husband in Kiddermster) 

dr. of Thomas Hornblower & of Alice 
b. Moses Mason in woollen 
m. Edward Rouse and Mary Clare by banes 
b. Rd. son of Mr. Walter Thatcher 

b. Richard Holloway in woollen 
m. Jonathan Lea and Mary Sale by bandes 

c. Ann dr. of Allen Breaknell and Susannah 
c. Joane d. of Edward Rouse and Mary 
b. Mr. John ReynoUes Schoolmaster 
b. John Mathews Mr. Packwood's man 

b. Thos. s. of Mr. Abell Attwood and Ann 
m. William Lea and Alice Hole 

c. Thomas found at Hoge hill barne 
borne Frances d. of Francis Preene & Mary 





Jan. 


II. 




Jan. 


13- 


1676. 


Apri 


6. 




July 


13- 




July 


31- 




Aug. 


18. 




Sept. 


23- 




Dec. 


9- 


1677. 


June 


7- 




Dec. 


29. 


1678. 


May 


9- 




Aug. 


20. 




Dec. 


31- 




Feb. 


II. 


1^79. 


Aug. 


27. 




Mar. 


II. 


1.680. 


April 


4- 




Aug. 


I. 




Feb. 


19.- 




Mar. 


I. 

5- 


i68i. 


Aug. 


13- 




Dec. 


25- 




Dec. 


31- 


L682. 


May 


12. 


1683. 


June 


24. 




Sept. 


2. 




Oct. 


23- 


1684. 


Sept. 


24. 




Nov. 


6. 




Mar. 


22. 


1686. 


Mar. 


30. 




Oct. 


26. 


L687. 


Sept. 


17- 


1688. 


May 


9- 




Nov. 


13- 


1689. 


Jan. 


6. 


L690. 


May 


28. 



The Act was passed to encourage the woollen manufacture. 



222 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Bailiffs of 1ki^^ennin0tcl^ 



1381 
1388 

1400 

1574 
1576 
1577 
1578 
1579 
1580 

1585 
1591 
1598 

1604 

1608 

1612 

1615 

i5i6 
1619 

1623 

1626 
1630 
1633 
1635 
1636 

1637 
1638 
1650 
1653 
1654 
1655 
1657 
1675 
1683 

1707 
17 1 2 
17 1 6 



Nicholas Polton 
[William Hulpole 
tjohn Sugge 
(John Pryntour 
Ijohn Horewode 

Henry Kempstowe 

Hugh Wantner 

Jjohn Sergeant 

Henry Benton 

William Fearne 

Robert Jervice 

Henry Dawkes 
— HassolL 

John Dawkes 
f Richard Fearne 
I Richard Child 

John Radford. 
[Thomas Dawkes 
[Thomas Pitt 

Nicholas Bowyer 

Thomas Woodward 

William Child 
[ Geoffrey Hornblower 
[ Francis Perry 

Richard Sommers 

Thomas Lake 

John Dawkes 

Simon Pitt 

John Freestone 

William Best 

Richard Potter 

John Elsmore 

Thomas Bellamy 

Nicholas Pearsall 

Lawrence Pearsall 

William Mountford • 

John Pearson 

William Lewes 

Allen Brecknell 

WilHam Hill 

William Silk 



I72I 


. William Silk 


1723 • 


John Harris 


1743 • 


Thomas Lea 


1753 • 


. Charles Knocker 


1755 • 


. William Wallis 


1756 . 


Richard Colley 


1757 • 


Joseph Baker 


1759 • 


. Joseph Baker 


^765 ■ 


. Joseph Lea 


1764 . 


Joseph Lea 


1765 • 


. William Lea 


1766 . 


Thomas Ferrins 


1767 . 


. William Oldnall 


1768 . 


Thomas Perrins. 


1769 . 


. William Oldnall 


1770 . 


Joseph Callow 


1 77 1 . 


Edward Crane (deed) 
■ 'William WalHs 


1772 . 


. Stephen Miles, jun. 


1773 . 


. Henry Bird 


1774 • 


John Newcomb 


^775 • 


. John Yearsley 


1776 . 


. Samuel Harris 


1777 . 


William Lea 


1778 . 


Henry Bird 


1779 . 


John Newcomb^ 


1780 . 


William Lea 


1781 . 


. Henry Perrin 


1782. . 


. Josiah Lea 


1783 • 


. Henry Perrin 


1784 . 


Josiah Lea 


1785 . 


. Timothy Crump, 


1786 . 


. Joseph Par doe 


1787 . 


. Robert Shirley 


1788 . 


. Joshua Moreton 


1789 . 


Timothy Crump. 


1790 . 


. Joseph Pardoe 


1791 . 


Joshua Moreton, 


1792 . 


. Robert Shirley 


1793 • 


. James Cole 


1794 • 


William Thorn. 



APPENDIX. 



223 



1795 • 


. *Richard Colley, jun. 


1811 . 


. John Newcomb 




William Thorn 


1812 . 


William Boycott 


1796 . 


George Gower 


1813 . 


. John Roberts 


1797 . 


James Cole 


1814 . 


. Joseph Newcomb 


1798 . 


William Thorn 


1815 . 


William Nichols 


1799 . 


. * George Gower 


1816 . 


John Roberts 




*Richard Colley, sen; 


1817 . 


William Boycott 




*John Newcomb 


1818 . 


Winter Frost 




*Henry Perrin 


1819 . 


Joseph Newcomb 




*Josiah Lea 


1820 . 


. William Nichols 




*Robert Shirley 


1821 . 


James Sprigg 




*James Cole 


1822 . 


. Thomas Jones 




William Thorn 


1823 . 


. James Sprigg 


1800 


. *Richard Colley, sen. 


1824 . 


George Hallen 




*John Newcomb 


1825 . 


Thomas Jones 




Henry Perrin 


1826 . 


. Samuel Beddoes 


I80I . 


Josiah Lea 


1827 . 


George Hallen 


1802 


Robert Shirley 


1828 . 


Samuel Beddoes 


1803 


James Cole 


1829 . 


George Custance 


1804 . 


. George Gower 


1830 . 


John Gough 


1805 . 


John Roberts 


1831 . 


Thomas Bradley 


1806 . 


George Gower 


1832 . 


John Gough, jun. 


1807 


. William Boycott 


1833 • 


Samuel Beddoes 


1808 . 


Joseph Newcomb 


1834 . 


Thomas Bradley 


1809 


James Newcomb 


1835 • 


Thomas Bradley 


I8I0 


. William NichoUs 







riDavors. 



1835 • 


. tWiUiam Butler Best 


1847 . 


William Boycott, sen. 


1836 . 


. William Butler Best 


1848 . 


. William Boycott, sen. 


1837 • 


George Hooman 


1849 . 


. William Roden, M.D. 


1838 . 


George Talbot, jun. 


1S50 . 


William Boycott, jun. 


1839 • 


("harles Talbot 


1851 . 


William Grosvenor 


1840 . 


Henry Brinton 


1852 . 


. Joseph Kiteley 


I84I . 


Joseph Newcomb 


1853 • 


Joseph Kiteley 


1842 . 


William Henry Worth 


1854 • 


Henry Saunders 


1843 . 


James Morton 


1855 • 


. George Turton 


1844 . 


. William Butler Best 


185G . 


Joseph Kiteley 


1845 . 


George Hooman 


1857 • 


James Batham 


1846 . 


. William B. Best 


1858 . 


Henry Jecks Dixon 



* Refused to serve. As a result bye-laws were constituted 7 July, 1801, 
imposing fines for refusal, viz., Bailiff ^42, Alderman £zb 5s., Councillor 

;^IO lOS. 

t Elected Dec. ji.st. 
c c 



224 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



1859 . 


. Henry Jecks Dixon 


1876 


i860 . 


George Turton 




I86I . 


Pemberton Talbot 


1877 


1862 . 


. William Rodeg 


1878 


1863 . 


William Roden 


1879 


1864 . 


. William Roden 


1880 


1865 . 


. Alfred Talbot 


1881 


1866 . 


. Charles Edwd.Jefferies 


1882 


1867 . 


. Charles Edwd.Jefferies 




1868 . 


. William Cowen 


1883 


1869 . 


. William Cowen 




1870 . 


Samuel Tovey 


1884 


I87I . 


William Boycott 


1885 


1872 . 


William Green 


1886 


1873 • 


. Henry Dixon 




1874 . 


. Daniel Wagstaff 


1887 




Goodwin 


1888 


1875 . 


Thomas Tempest- 
Radford 


1889 



Thomas Tempest- 

Radford 
James Joseph Harvey 
William Cowen 
Joseph Naylor 
Henry Richard Willis 
James Binnian 
George William Gros- 

venor 
Daniel Wagstaff 

Goodwin 
William Green 
George Holdsworth 
Thomas Tempest- 

Radford 
Michael Tomkinson 
Edward James Morton 
Edward James Morton 



Ibicjb Stewarb0. 



1636 . 


. Sir Ralph Clare 


1802 


* 


* * * * 
Thomas Lord Foley 


1833 


1766 . 


. Thomas Foley, Esq. 


1870 


1778 . 


. Thomas Lord Foley 


1888 


1793 • 


. Hon. Edward Foley 





Thomas Lord Foley 
Thomas Henry Lord 

Foley 
William Earl of Dudley 
William Humble Earl 

of Dudley 



1774 



John Viscount Dudley 

and Ward 
John Viscount Dudley 

and Ward 



1789 
1823 



William Viscount 
Dudley and Ward 

John William Viscount 
Dudley and Ward 



^own (Zlcvhe. 



[-1487] . 


Thomas Kynfare, 


alias 


1826 . 


. Thomas Hallen 




Taillour 




1836 . 


. Thomas Hallen (re 


[1764] . 


. Gregory Watkins 






elected) 


1788 . 


. James Pinches 




1856 . 


Henry Saunders 


I80I . 


. George Hallen 




1867 • 


. James Morton 



INDEX. 



225 



BRIEF GENERAL INDEX. 



Abergavenny, family of, 35-38 

Appropriation of Church, by Bp. 
Simon, log ; by Bp, Bransford, 
in; by Bp. Tideman, 113 ; by Bp. 
Clifford, 113. 

Archery, 61, 62 

Arthur Prince, ordains love and con- 
cord between Bewdley and Kidder- 
minster, 6g 

Auxeville, Ralph de, gets knight's fee 
in Kidderminster, 14 ; gives land to 
Maiden Bradley, 15, 16 

Bailiffs, antiquities and duties of, 20 ; 

privileges of, 55 ; list of, 222 
Baptist Chapel and Ministers, 138 
Beauchamp, William de, his Charter, 

17 
Sir John, made Baron of 

Kidderminster, 31 ; gets charter 

from Richard II., 31 ; beheaded, 32 

Benefactors, 146-149 

Bewdley, its prosperity, 69 ; quarrels 
with Kidderminster, 69 

Biographies of — J. Wither?, 113; 
Bishop Harley, 114 ; G. Dance, 
115; Ba.xter, 117; White, 121; 
Butt, 121 ; Dean Onslow, 122 ; 
Bishop Claughton, 123 ; Dean 
Boyle, 124 ; Canon Claughton, 
124; Abbot Kidderminster, 150; 
Jervyes, 150 ; Sir R. Clare, 150 ; 
John Somers, 152 ; R. Cooper, 152 ; 
Waller, 153 ; Yarranton, 153; Lord 
Foley, 154 ; Williams, 155 ; Pear; 
sail, 155; Baskerville, 156; Greaves, 
156; Job Orton, 157; Dr. John- 
stone, 157, 158 ; T. Wright 
Hill, 158 ; Dr. Lant Carpenter, 
159 ; Sir Josiah Mason, 161 ; Sir 
Rowland Hill, 162 ; Archdeacon 
Lea, 166 ; Rev. H. Price, 167 ; 
Rebecca Swan, 167 ; G. Griffith, 
168 ; Helmore, 168 ; Bradley, 168 ; 
D. W. Goodwin, 169; Simcox, 170 



Biset family, 13, 28-32 ; pedigree of, 

Blackstone, hermitage at, 128 

Blount family, 46-49 ; pedigree of, 49 

Brinton Park, 149 

Bulls (papal), 104, 105, 194 

Burnell, family of, 33-35 

By-laws (1330), 56-60 (1640), 75-77 

Carpet-making, introduction of, 182 ; 
factories, 183-187 

Chantries, St. Mary, 35, 39, 40, 44, 
67, 94.. 95. 97- 99. 100, loi ; St. 
Katharine, 42, 97, 99, 100, loi ; 
Trimpley, 95-97, 99, 100 ; Hartle- 
bury, 202 

Chaddesley Corbet, short history of, 
198 

Charles i.. Charter of, 72-75 

Charters of. Henry IL, 13, 203 ; 
Richard II., 31 ; Henry VIII., 38 ; 
Elizabeth, 13; Charles I., 72-75; 
George IV., 82 

Civil War, 77, 78 

Clare family, 44, 45 ; pedigree of, 45 ; 
Sir Ralph, 150 

Clent, short history of, 189 

Cokesey, family of, 38-43 ; monu- 
ment of, 42 ; brass of, 41 : pedi- 
gree of, 43 

Corporation, constitution of, 82 ; 
ornaments of, 83 

Churches : .\11 Saints, architecture 
of, 86, 87 ; bells of, 89 ; plate of, 90 ; 
goods of, 98, 99 ; monuments in, 91 ; 
"process" of, 101-113; Vicars of, 
113-126; St. George, 129, 130; St. 
John, 131, 132 ; St. Barnabas, 132 ; 
St. James, 132 ; Trimpley, 132 ; 
Mytton, 126-128; Wribbenhall, 128, 
129; Clent, igi ; Wolverley, 195; 
Hagley, 197 ; Stone, 198 ; Chad- 
desley Corbet, 200 ; Hartlebury, 
201, 202. 

Churchyard Cross — see addenda 



226 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Court of Requests, 80, 81 

Danes, ravages of, 7, 8 

Deneberht, his agreement with 

Kenulph, 6 
Domesday Book, Kidderminster, 10, 

203 ; Hagley, 196 ; Chaddesley, 

ig8 ; Clent, 190 ; Hartlebury, 201 ; 

Wolverley, 193 ; Stone, 197 

Earthquake, 78 
Enclosure Act, 61 

Final Concords, 64-67 

Foley, family of, 49-51 ; pedigree of, 

51 
Frankpledge, 56 
Freedom, growth of, 20, 25, 26, 58, 

63. 67 

Grammar School, 74, 141 

Habberley Valley, 149 
Hagley, short history of, 195 
Harmanville, Maud, brass of, 41 - 
Hartlebury, short history of, 201 
Harvington Hall, 199 
Henry HI. at Kidderminster, i5 
High Stewards, list of, 224 
Husbandry, old system of, 18, 19, 20 

Infirmary, 148 

Kidderminster, etymology of, g, 10 ; 
population of, 12, 85 ; fairs, 17, 29 

Leland, his description of Kidder- 
minster, 70 

Maiden Bradley Convent, founded 
28 : its connection with Kidder- 
minster, 101-113; suppressed, 45 
Mayors, list of, 223 
Markets, Regulations of, 57-60, 72 
Members of Parliament, 54, 84 
Mitton, 16, 107 ; monuments in 
church, 127. See also addenda 

New Meeting, 135, 136 
Newspapers, 82 



Offa's settlement, 5, 6 
Old Meeting, 134-136 



Burnell, 35 ; 
45 ; Blount, 



Pedigrees of, Biset, 32 

Cokesey, 43 ; Clare 

49 ; Foley, 51 ; local families, 53 
Phelip Sir John, 40, 41 ; brass of, 41 
Plagues, 25, 26, 71, 72 
Population in 1086, 12; in 1563, 1776; 

1793' 71 ; in 1801, &c., 85. See 

corrigenda 

Recorders, list of, 224 

Registers, names in, 204, &c. ; extracts 

from, 207 
Rentals of manors, 21, 25 
Riots, 82, 167 
Roman Catholic chapels and priests, 

139, 199, 200 
Roman remains, i 

Schools : Grammar, 74, 141 ; Parish 
Church, 142 ; Potter's, 143 ; Pear- 
sail's, 143 ; Art, 145 ; Science, 145; 
Board, 143, 145 ; voluntary, 144 

Stone, short history of, 197 

Town clerks, list of, 224 

Trades in olden times, 71 

Trade Tokens, 78, 79 

Valuation of benefice, 106-109, 115, 

116 
Villeins, their condition and duties, 

10, II, 19, 20; lists of, 21-24; their 

houses, 27 
Volunteers, 80, 82 

■Ward, Baron, purchases Kidder- 
minster, 50 ; a benefactor, 52 ; 
memorial of, 52 

Weavers, Society of, 174, &c. 

Wesley, at Kidderminster, 137, 138 

Wills,' of Coton, 67 ; Forest, 68 ;. 
Hyheway, 68 ; Hill, 68 

Witches, 167 

Woolcombers, iSi 

Wolverley, short history of, 193 

Wribbenhall, Christchurch, 128; All 
Saints, 128 



INDEX. 



'22J 



INDEX OF NAMES. 

\_See Page 204. J 



Abberley, 18 
Abergavenny, 34, 35, 36, 
38, 47, 67, 70, 72, 75, 

95, 100, 128, igO, 198, 
199, 200, 213 

Abraham, 68, 69 

Achebornj, 15 

Aclon, 44, 81, 99, 121, 

212, 213 
Adam, 184, 185 
Addenbrooke, 66, 149, 

219, 220 
Aegelsi, 189 
Aevic, 189 
Agborow, 10, 22, 25, 98, 

100, 109 
Aiulf, II 
Alchurch, 207 
Allom, 139 
Allyne, 211 
Alured, 171 
Amphlett, 215, 216, 218, 

220 
Andrews, 51 
Ansculf, II, ig6 
Apen, 100 
Arley, i 
Argyle, 124 
Artch, 73, 115, 221 
Arthur (Prince), 69 
Arundel, 33, 35 
Ashbourne, 124 
Ashe, 51 

Ashurst, 118, 119, 143 
Astley, 66, 153, 213 
Aston, 217 
Atherstone, 87 
Attwill, 147 
A^ttwood, 55, 56, 64, 95, 

96, 194, 215, 217, 218, 
221 

Audeley, 199 
Austin. 81 



Auxeville, 14, 15, 16, 20, 

21, 25 

Avignon, 105, 194 
Axminster, 182 

Bache, 215 
Bacoun, 95 
Bagger, 67 

Baker, 62, 66, 81, 125, 
129, 198, 213, 214, 216, 

217, 222 

Baldwin, 119, 121, 128, 

135, 219, 221 
Ballamy, 79, 81, 214, 

218, 219 

Balle, 16, 24, 25, 209 

Banbury, 75 

Banks, 81, 134 

Bannister, 90, 187 

Barbar, 215 

Barbour, 96 

Bardolph, 41 

Ba ford, 81 

Barker, 147, 180 

Barnett, 67 

Barrett, 135, 207 

Barton, 65, 185, 186 

Baskerville, 156, 194, 
215, 217, 220 

Basset, 28, 32 

Batham, 223 

Bathe, 130 

Batten, 82 

Baugli, 129 

Baxter, 49, 78, 91, 115, 
117, 118, iig, 120, 121, 
123, 125, 135, 138, 143, 
151, 167, 176, 180 

Baylly, 65 

Beauchamp, 17, 31, 32, 
34. i5' 36. 47. 64. 65, 
95. 97., 1 52 

Beaconsfield, 153 



Beck, 17, 62, 81 

Becket, 14 

Beddoes, 223 

Belbroughton,87,i04,2i2 

Belenger, g5 

Bell, 137 

Bellamont, 143 

Bellamy, 222 

Benbow, 83, 207 

Benedict XII., 104, 105 

Bennett, 66, 221 

Bennie, 187 

Bentley, 202 

Benton, 141, 147, 222 

Berewyke, 104 

Bergavenny (see Aber- 
gavenny 

Bernard, 62 

Best, 73, 80, 81, 82, 83, 
84, gi, g3, 135, 138, 
142, 208, 222, 223 

Betenson, loo, 125, 207, 
208, 210, 2X2, 215 

Beterton, 68 

Beuchampt, 220 

Bewdley, 46, 47, 48, 61, 
64, 68, 6g, 72, 77, 78, 
117, iig, 137, 139, 150, 

Bigelow, 183 

Bill, 180 

Binnian, 224 

Bingham, i2g 

Birch, 72 

Bird, 55, 81, 100, 222 

Birmingham, 156, 158, 

161, 162 
Biset, 13, 14, 16, 17, 28, 

29. 30, 32, 36, 55. 56, 

70, g5, loi, 102, 103, 

125 
Black, 86, 87, 104, 123 
Blackmore, 136 



22<S 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Blackstone, 128 

Blake (see Black) 

Blakewell, 7 

Blanchford, 136 

Blaze (Bp.), 181 

Bleke, 62 

Blomfield (Bp.), 123 

Blount, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 
49, 72,74, 98, 100, 115, 
125, 141, 146, 207, 208, 
209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 

215 
Blunt, 84 
Blurton, 152 
Bocher, 98, 100 
Boraston, 81, go, 129, 

219 
Bordesley, 198 
Boscobel, 78 
Boscode (seeAttwood) 
Bosel, 2 
Boteler, 26, 39, 43, 64, 

196 
Botetourt, 34, 190, 196 
Bottlestaff, 221 
Boucher, 211 
Bough, 218 
Bourne, 210 
Bowater, 219 
Bowyer, 66, 134, 143, 147, 

167, 186, 209, 212, 213, 

220, 222 

, Boycott, 82, 83, 84, 223, 

224 
Boyle, 124, 126, 134 
Bradford-on-Avon, 171 
Bradley, 119, 121, 168, 

169, 217, 221, 223 
Bradshavv, 94, 135 
Bransford (Bp.), 11 1 
Bray, 215 
Brecknell, 81, 143, 148, 

221, 222 
Brede, 62 
Bredon, 86, no 
Brentford, 5 
Bridgman, 92, 148 
Bridges, 48, 115, 113 
Bridgnorth, 34, 117 
Brindley, 51 
Brinkworth, 14 
Brinton, 82, 84, 142, 143, 

149, 184, i85, 223 
Bristol, 160 
Bristow, 84 
Brittol, 93 
Broad, 72, 146, 198 
Brock, 121, 166, 2og 
Bromley, ig6 



Brommore, 30 
Bromyard, 155 
Bromsgrove, 62, 63, 173 
Brooke, 77 
Brookes, 81, 139 
Brooksbank, 92 
Broom, igo, 191 
Broome, 81, 87, 167, 182, 

183, 187, 220, 221 
Brotherton, 94, joo, 

215 
Brough, 82 
Browne, 66, 73 
Bruges, 143 
Brugge, 125 
Bryan, 219 
Buckesbie, 98 
Bucknall, 67,88, 147, 207, 

208, 213, 217, 220 
Burfeild, 211 
Bund, 66 
Burcher, 52 
Burford, 7 
Burhred, 7, 193, 201 
Burlish, 14, iii 
Burcher, 52 
Burlton, 53, 148, 211, 

215 
Burnham, 217, 218 
Burnynson, 100 
Burnell, 33, 34, 35, 190 
Burton, 66, 93, 142, 147, 

215, 220 
Butcher, 146, 186 
Butler, 79, 80, 92, 100, 

137. 147. 190 
Butt, 88, 121, 122, 126 
Button Oak, I 
Butts, 61 

Caldecote, 125 
Caldrigan, 54 
Caldwell, 38, 39, 63, 70, 

77, 107, 109 
Calixtus, 102 
Callow, 80, 221, 222 
Cameron, 122 
Cantilupe, 17, 102, 201 
Carpenter (Bp.), 87 
Carpenter, 159, 160, 161, 

201, 2xg 
Carsleghe, 104, 105, no, 

III, 125 
Carter, 79 
Cartwright, 81 
Ceadde (Chad), 2, 9 
Cedd, 2, 9, 
Ceolfrith, 4, 6, 
Cergan, 100 



Chaddesley, i, 6, 9, 68, 
87, 102, igS, igg, 
200 

Chaddaleswyche, 64 

Chamberlin, 79 

Chambers, 90 

Chaucer, 41 

Chaunce, 97, 99, 100, loi, 
208 

Charlton, 80, 121, 126, 

155 
Charouse, 95 
Chellingworth, 81, 132 
Cheltenham, 128, 209, 

215, 217, 221 
Chesshire, 124, 129 
Child, 81, 135, 147, 152, 

212, 213, 222 
Children-Hanley, 64 
Chiroton, 104, 105 
Cholmeley, 217 
Church, 130 
Churchill, 66 
Churchley, 96, 99 
Churchyard, 66, 210 
Churton, 124 
Clare, 43, 44, 47, 49. 53, 

64, 65, 66, 67, 74, 75, 

80, 100, 139, 147, 150, 

208, 210, 211, 212, 214, 

215, 220, 221, 224 
Clarke, 66, 98 
Claughton, 52, 90, 123, 

124, 126, 131 
Cleeve, 215 
Clement (Pope), 194 
Clent, 1,66, 189, 190, 191, 

192, 195 
Clifford (Bp.), 113 
Clifton, 7 
Clymer, 204, 208, 217, 

218, 221 
Cobham (Lord), 95, 197 
Cockin, 142, 169 
Cocks, 152 
Cokesey, 38, 39, 40, 42, 

43, 62, 64, 65, 70, 95, 

97, 208 
Cole, 81, 210, 222, 223 
Coleshill, 153 
Colley, 65, 80, 81, 222, 

223 
Collins, 129 
Colsell, 95, 207 
Columbine, 125 
Combe, 13, 46, 49, 71 , 207 
Comberton, 14, 15, 16, 

23, 25, 26, 46, 48, 64, 

109. 153' 162, 213 



INDEX. 



22g 



Complagn, loo 
Corapton, ,210 
Conder, 134 
Cooke, 100, 142, 146 
Cookley, 6, 7, 193 
Cooper, 63, 81, 82, 92, 

145, 152, 218, 220 
Cowen, 224 
Cowp, 214 
Cowper, 81 

Corbet, 18, 87, 199, 200, 

217 
Corrie, gi 
Coston, 35, 66, 100, 211, 

213 
Colon, 67 
Cotton, 78, 95 
Cottrell, ,8j 
Courtenay, 139 
Coventry, 44 
Cowell, 137, 138 
Cox, 93, 198 
Craddock, 139 
Crane, 53, 67,80,81, 93, 

146, 149, 157, 185, 209, 
213, 218, 220, 221, 
222 

Craven, 127 
Creak, 114, 125, 136 
Croft, 45, 49, 70 
Croome, 44 
Crossley, 183, 186 
Crowther, 187 
Crump, 185, 222 
Custfield, 77 
Custance, 168, 223 
Cyniberht, 4, 9 

D'Abitot, 18, 44, 197 
Dalby, 87 
Dalmahoy, 127 
Danes, 7, 8 
Dance, 115, 116, 117, 

120, 125, 217, 220 
Darby, 81 
Darell, 64 
Davies, 81 
Davvkes, 66, 72, 89, 100, 

147, 211, 212, 213, 215, 
222 

Deanes, 97, 98 

De Burgh, 52 

Deerhurst, 2 

Degge, 93, .221 

De la Doune, no, in, 

125 
De la Lade, 103, 125 
De la Mere, 40, 95, 103, 

125 



Deneberht, 6, 193 

Dennington, 40 
Deorham, i 
Despencer, 34, 35, 47 
Dixon, 82, 184, 185, 186, 

188, 223, 224 
Dobbins, 48, 66, 153,215, 

216, 217 
Dobson, 81, 184 
Dodd, 200 
Doddridge, 157 
Doharty, 56, 80, 88 
Doolittle, 6g, 73, 81, 100, 

118, 134, 148, 209, 211, 

212, 213, 217 
Douglas, 40, 124 
Dounreston, 13 
Dowles, I 
Downall, 130 
Dovvnes, 139 
Droitwich, 11,54,55,72, 

154, 166, 173, 199 
Dudley (see Northum- 
berland) 
Dudley, 54, 117 
Dudley (Lord), 52, 88, 

126, 145, 184, 224 
Dudley (Lady), 52, 148 
Duffory, 182 
Dunclent, 55, 56, 64, 72 
Dungham, 77 
Dyckins, 219 
Dyson, 213, 219 

Eastham, 7 

Eaton Constantine, 117 
Eddeve, 198 
Edgbaston, 159 
Edgeley, 83, 97, loi, 

208, 212, 214 
Ednam, 51 
Elkington, 161 
Elmley Lovett, 44, 103 
Elsmore, 174, 222 
Elyot, 65 
Englefield, 65 
Erdington, 161, 162 
Kridge, 38 
Essex, 102, 103, 125 
Esthope, 81 
Estlin, 160 
Eston, 217 
Ethelbald, 4, 7 
Ethclred, 7 
Evans, Si, 130, 137 
Evelyn, 48, 153 
Evesham, 18, 54, 72, 77, 

78, 139, 173 
Exeter, 159 



Eymore, loS, 109, no 

Farr, 93 

Fawcett, 80, 135, 138, 

155. 184 
Fawkner, 209 
Fayreyeare, 211 
Fearne, 222 
Feckenham, 62, 95 
Feme, 97, 98, 100, lor 
Fewsterell, loi 
Filewood, 129 
Fincher, 137 
Finian, 2 
Fish, 137 
Fisk, 139 
Fitzalan, 35, 51 
Fitzwalter, 34 
Fitzwith, 31 
Flandei's, 172, 212, 215 
Flemyng, 67 
Foley, 18, 20, 21, 38, 48, 

49, 50, 51. 53, 80, 89, 

117, 125, 126, 127, 129, 

154, I55> 198, 220, 

224 
FoUiott, 80, 127, 197 
Forest, 38, 67, 68, 198, 

200 
Forster, 97, 98 
Fortescue, 124, 132 
Franche, 10, 23, 25, 55, 

62, 132, 144 
Frankley, 87 
Eraser, 77, 84 
Freeman, 136 
Freeston, 66, 73, 147, 

181, 209, 211, 213, 

214, 222 
Frome, 104 
Frost, 70, 223 
Fry, 81, 137 
Furnivall, 41, 42 
Fylldust, 215 

Galabank, 157 
Caret, 67 
Garmson, 115 
Garnett, 100 
Geligoe, 221 
Gentleman, 137 
Gething, 145 
Gibbons, 124, 130, 155 
Gibbs, 197 
Gibson, 137, 184 
Giffard, 136, 201 
Gilbert, 95, I43 
Gilis, 68 
Gisborne, 84 



230 



A HI STONY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Glasbrooke, 214, 215 
Glynn, 148 
Godiva, 7, 193 
Godson, 84, 142 
Goodwin, 82, 83, 145, 

169, 224 
Gough, 105, 188, 223 
Gower, 147, 185, 212, 

223 
Grafton, 63 
Grant, 84 
(rranville, 50, 51 
Gray, 143 
Greaves, 94, 148, 156, 

157, 180 
Green,_ 73, 187, 195, 224 
Greenfield, 136 
Greville, 42, 43, 95 
Grey, loi 
Grice, 97, gS 
Griffin, 100, 139, 147, 

209 
Griffith, 168 
Griffiths, 81, i5i 
Grosvenor, 145, 169, 

185, 186, 223, 224 
Grove, 66, 126, 215 x*^ 
Gunhilda, 7 
Gurney, 129 
Gyldon, 97 
Gyll, 100 

Habberley, 10, 19, 21, 
25, 62, 64, 149, 213 

Hacun, 7 

Hagley, i, 55, 56, 66, 
195, 196, 197 

Hale, 65 

Hales Owen, 34, 87, 126, 
190, 191 

Hall, 135, 137, 139, 146, 

147 
Hallen, 81, 82, 129, 167, 

223, 224 
Ham, 7 
HanLury, 48, 66, 93, 

143. i-DD 

Hancocks, 81, 169, 194, 

195, 220 
Handlo, 34, 35 
Hankys, 95 
Hanley Castle, 36 
Harding, 214 
Hardman, 136, 138, 139, 

219 

Hardwicke (Earl), 152 
Harley, 33, 114, 125, 143 
Harmanville, 41, 43 
Harper, 80 



Harris, 81, 222 
Harrison, 161, 187 
Hartlebury, 18, 68, 78, 
99, 106, 112, 201, 202 
Harvey, 130, 224 
Harvington, 199, 200 
Harward, 66 
Hnssall, 129, 211, 217 
HassoU, 222 
Hastings, 36 
Hawkins, 214 
Haye, 66 
Hayle, 62 
Hayley, 207 
Heath, 128, 138, 213 
Heathy, 55, 56, 62, 109 
Heathored (L'p.), 5 
Helmore, 136, 140, 168 
Hemming, 128, 129 
Henleghe, 17 
Henry II., 13 
Henry HI., 16 
Henster, 65 
Herdson, 97 
Hereford, 35, 69 
Heryng, 62 
Hickes, 195 
Hickeson, 62 
Higgins, 147 
Hill, 24, 65, 68, 81, 95, 

132, 135, i37> T^5^, 159, 
162-166, 210, 213, 214, 
215, 219, 221, 222 

Hinton, 81 

Hoare, 143 

Hoarstone, 18, 48, 66 

Hobday, 66 

Hodgetts, 51, 208, 215 

Holcroft, 198 

Holdsworth, 83, 224 

Hole, 221 

Holland, 139, 219 

Holloway, 2x7, 221 

Holmes, 186 

Holt, 95 

Hook, 159 

Hookham, 142 

Hooman, 130, 167, 184, 
185, 223 

Hooper (Bp.), 202 

Hopkins, 88, 195 

Hore, 65 

Horewode, 62, 222 

Hornblower, 81, 209, 
221, 222 

Hough. 48, 66, 80, 93, 
220 

Housman, 135, 155, 221 

How (Bp.), 124 



Howard, 51, 80, 125, 

142, 158 
Huddlestone, 84 
Hugh3s, 186 
Hulpole, 62, 222 
Humphries, 184, 187, 

220 
Hunsworth, 136 
Hunt, 66, 81 
Hurcott, 10, 25, 26, 46, 

48, 67, loi, 106, 112, 

153, 187, 188 
Hurd (Bp.), 201, 202 
Hurtill, 53, 100, 115 
Hussey, 143 
Hyheway, 68 

Ibery, loi 

Ingram, 50, 81, 91, 122, 

210 
Inkberow, 213 
Ivens, 18, 52 

Jambertus, 5 

Jefferies, 81, 93, 121, 

180, 224 
Jekyll, 152 
Jenks, 199 
Jennings, 62, 83, 91, 95, 

98, 100, 114, iig, 125, 

207, 208, 209, 211, 

212 
Jernaule, 182 
Jervice, 222 
Jervyes, 150, 210 
John (King), 15 
Johnstone, 80, 157, 158 
Jolly, Si 
Jones, 81, 129, 139, 155, 

223 
Jordan, 125 
Jukes, 53, 100, 127 

Kempsey, 102 
Kempstowe, 209, 222 
Kendal, 65 
Kenelm, 189, 192 
Kendrick, 218 
Kent, 55, 56, 62, 221 
Kenulph, 6, 193 
Kershaw, 132 
Ketelbern, 171 
Kettle, 166, 218, 219 
Kewley, 132 
Ivey, 130 
Kidderminster Abbot, 

150 
Kimberline, 139 
Kineton, 86 



4 



INDEX. 



231 



Kinlet, 46 
Kinsale, 127 
Kinver, 4, 6, 64 
Kinwarton, 86 
Kiteley, 132, 208, 223 
Knight, 194, 195 
Knocker, 222 
Knowles, 90 
Kynfare, 224 
Kyre, 7 
'Kyrle, 216 

Lacon, 74 
Lacey, 66 
Lake, 222 

Langton (Abp.), 102 
Lamb, 97 
Lane, 137, 210 
Lant, 159 
Laud (Abp.), 115 
Laweher, 87, 95 
Lea, 19, 22, 25, 81, 82, 
84, 90-, gi, 92, 129, 

i34> 143, 148, 149, 
162, 166, 184, 187, 
214, 216, 220, 221, 
222, 223 

Le Hunt, 125 

Leland, 43, 61, 70, 173 

Lechmere, 55 

Leitleye, 64 

Lewes, 146, 222 

Lewis, 66, 137, 187 

Ley, 2oy 

Lichfield, 121 

Lickhill, 65, 127 

Lihtfot, 54 

Lindridge, 122 

Lincroft, 96 

Lister, 81, 138 

Lloyd (I3p.), 92, 142 

Lloyd, 187, 202 

Logwardyne, 106 

Longmore, 66, 100, 214 

Lorde, 62, 65 

Lowe, 64, 84, 98, 212 

Ludford, 155 

Ludlow, 117 

Lugg, 127 

Lunn, 137 

Lutlev, 66 

Lye, 68 

Lygon, loi, 143 

Lyle, 185 

Lyttelton, 77, 95, 143, 
157, 190, 195, 196, 
197 

McCave, 6, 139 



Maddocks, 97 

Madeley, 209 

Madstard, 117 

Maiden Bradley, 15, 16, 
20, 21, 26, 33, 36, 45, 
46, 70, 101, 104, 105, 
no, 112, 113, 125, 
171 

Makins, 84 

Mai, 62, 125 

Malpas, 62, 66, 95, 217 

Marsden, 136 

Martin, 80, 92, 142, 158 

Martineau, 160 

Mason, 161, 162, 210, 
211, 217, 221 

Matthews, 56, 81, 142 

Mauger (Bp.), 102 

Maunsell, gS 

Maydeston (Bp.) 86 

Maynard, 198 

Mears, 82, 90, 182 

Mellone, 137 

Meredith, 83 

Merrick, 218 

Miles, 81, 129, 142, 222 

Milred (Bp.), 4 

Mills, 139, 147 

Miniiie, go 

Mitton, ID, 12, 14, 16, 
19, 21, 23, 24, 25, 65, 
66, 71, 85, 98, 103, 
107, 108, 109, no, 
114, 116, 120, 126, 
127, 128, 171, and 
addenda 

Moncrieffe, 51 

Montacute (Bp.), 106, 
109 

Morgan, 142, 201 

Morley (Bp.), 115, 120 

Moore, 17, 149 

Morrell, 130 

Moreton, 222 

Morton, 82,90, 13:, 184, 
185, 195, 223, 224 

Mortymer, 95 

Moseley, 147 

Moses, go 

Mossop, 82 

Mottram, 130 

Mountt'ord, 79, 125, 219, 
222 

Mountjoy, 48 

Mundye, 100 

MuslcU, 55, 64 

M\dk)pp, 100 

My 11, 67 

Myllton, 2ig 



Mytton, 208 

Nash, 72 
Naylor, 187, 224 
Needvvood, 167 
Nelme, 65 
Netherton, 22, 25, 98, 

148 
Newchurch, 122 
Newcomb, 81, 131, 222, 

223 
Newland, 125 
Newman, 125, 209 
Newnham, 80 
Newton, 70 

Nevill, 14, 36, 47, 4g, 72 
Nichols, 223 
Niger, 21, 22, 86 
North, 71 
Northampton, 159 
Northumberland (Duke 

of)> 45, 46, 114 
Noake, 136 
Notgrove, 122 
Nott, 211 
Notynham, 95 
Noy, 72 

Oakham pton, 64 
O'Connor, 88, 139 
Odell, 115, 125, 126, 

213, 214 
Odhams, 66 
Offa, 5, 6 
Oftinore, 107, no 
Okv, 62 
Oldefelde, 62 
Oldington, 10, 14, 15, 

16, 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 

25, 26, 46, 65, 66, III, 

1 12 
Oldland, 187 
Oldnall, 53, 63, 68, 146, 

21 1, 222 
Onslow, 122, 126, 130 
Orton, 80, 81, g3, 151 
Ossulton (Lord), 152 
Oswald, 2 
Oxford, 114 

Packington, 65, 66, 199 
Pagan el, ig6 
Page, 90 
Pagett, n5, 217 
Pardoe, 53, 184, 185, 

20S, 218, 222 
Parkes, 68 
Parlour, 65 
Parr, 158 



232 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Parry, 82, 137, 143 
Paston, 77 
Patchett, 221 
Patrick, 81 
Pauncefote, 32 
Payne, 125 
Peada, 2 
Pearce, 81, 137 
Pearsall, 66, 72, 73, 79, 

81, ii5> i37» i55> 159, 

181, 182, 214, 217, 

218, 219, 222 
Pearson, 164, 222 
Pedmore, 96, 98 
Peel, 124, 130 
Peinton, 64 
Penda, 2 
Penley, 142 
Penn, 62, 81, 93, 95, 

148, 160, 220 
Pennell, 167 
Pepys (Bp.), 131, 201, 

202 
Perrin, 222, 223 
Perrins, 81, 217, 220 
Perry, i5i, 222 
Pershore, 54 
Phelip, 40, 41, 43 
Phillipps, 44, 64, 67 
Phillips, 84, 124, 125, 

126, 143 
Philpott, 121 
Phipps, 122 
Picart, 202 
Pickerell, 97, 98 
Pinches, 224 
Pipard, 64 
Pirry, 96, 208 
Pitt, 45- 55> 79, 100, 136, 

142, 210, 212, 213, 

214, 215, 217, 222 
Plessetis, 29, 30, 33, 36 
Plimley, 147, 220 
Poer, 171 
Pole, 34, 41 
Polton, 62, 222 
Ponet, 62 
Pope, 97, 100 
Portes, 64 
Porter, 125 
Porto d'Anzio, 160 
Portway, i 
Potter, 66, 73, 95, 142, 

187, 209, 214, 215, 

222 
Powes, 70 
Powell, 81 
Power, 18, 139 
Powys, 66 



Poyntz, 70 

Pranke, 96 

Preene, 221 

Preston, 149 

Price, 138, 167 

Priestley, 159, 161 

Pri'tchard, 132 

Pritty, 79 

Pryntour, 62, 222 

Purdey, 187 

Puxton, 10, 22, 25, 62, 

64 
Pykenham, 114, 125 
Pymp, 64 

Quinzehides, 34 

Radford, 66, 73, yg, 

134. i47> 211, 222 
Rammohun Roy, 160 
Ramyston, 100 
Ratsey, 65 
Ray, 145 
Rayson, 212 
Reade, 79, 81, iig, 134, 

146, 147, 219 
Reve, 97 

Reynolds, 93, 218, 221 
Ribbesford, 6, 8, 10, 64, 

65, 169 
Ricardes, 95 
Ricardo, 84 
Rice, 44, 45, 65. 68, 94 
Richard II., 26 
Richardson,, 81 
Ripariis (see Rivers) 
Rivers, 29, 30, 32, 36, 

103 
Roberts, 81, 223 
Robertson, 202 
Rock, 64, 65 
Roden, 143, 224 
Rodeborowe, 202 
Rogers, 63, 219 
Rokebourne, 13, loi 
Ross, 136 
Romsey, 30, 31, 32, 33, 

65 . 
Rouse, 48, 118, 221 
Rowden, 79, 219 
Rowland, 195 
Rowley, 2'2i 
Rudhall, 90 
Rugge, 63 

Rupert Prince, 77, 78 
Rushock, 96, 100 
Rushout, 198 
Russell, 43, 98 
Ryppel, 95 



Sacheverell, 199 
Sadler, 79 
Sale, 221 
Salter, 97 
Salwarpe, 153 
Salway, 219 
Santon, 65 
Sandbourne, 92, 107, 

109 
Sandford, 30 
Sandys, 201 

Saunders, 195, 223, 224 
Savage, 72 
Sawyer, 66, 99 
Scott, 126 
Sebright, 53, 74, 95, 

146, 194, 208, 210, 

212, 215 
Seckley, 193 
Seelee,' 213 
Selwood, 104 
Sergeant, 66, loi, 210, 

211, 213, 218, 2ig, 

222 
Severn, 137 
Severne, 152 
Severn Stoke, 152 
Seymour, 124 
Shakespeare, 219 
Sheldon, 45, 98 
Shenston, 214 
Shepherd, 139 
Sheppard, 142, 170' 
Sherman, 68 
Sheiwood, 121 
Shirley, 222, 223, 
Silk, 222 
Simmons, 79, 118, 143, 

219 
Skey, 92 
Skinner, i8'5 
Simcox, 170, 184, 210, 

214 
Snel, 21, 24 
Soley, 53, 66, 91, 127, 

143, 213, 219 
Smith, 66, 100, 114, 125, 

i34> 137. 139, 185, 

202, 209, 210 
Somers, 94, 152, 213, 

214 
Somery, 190, 196 
Sommers, 222 
Smiles, 154 
Southall, 81 
Sparry, 147, 150. 
Speerels, 219 
Spencer, 81, 22a 
Spicer, 53, 64 



INDEX. 



233 



Spilsbury, 93, 94, 135 
Spi-igg, 223 
Spring Grove, 61, 92 
Spyttell, 98, 208 
Stacy, 29 
St. Albans, 124 
Standish, 100 
Stanhope, 51 
Stanley, 121 
Stapleton, 42, 43 
Steill, 136 
Stephens, 139 
Stephyn, 66 
Stepkin, 215 
Steynor, 81 
Stillingfleet (Bp.), 201 
Stokes, 81 
Steward, 53, 212 
St. Leger, 190, 196 
St. Pierre, 40, 43 
Stooke, 137, 211 
Stringer, 81, 95 
Strode, 51, 155 
Stourton, 70 
Stoughton, 121 
Stratford, 71 
Stretton, 90, 149 
Sugge, 62, 222 
Sutton, I, 10, 22, 25, 51, 

63, 125 
Stone, 64, 68, 102, 166, 

197, 198 
Stour, 8, 12, 24, 171 
Stour-inrUsmere, 4, 5, 

6, 7, 9, 193 
Stourbridge, i, 77, 78, 

150 
Stourport, 18, 21, 85, 

137, 138, i44> 187 
Stafford, 63, 190 
Stanford, 121, 122, 155 
Symonds, 63, 95 
Syner, 73 

Taillour, 224 
Talbot, 14, 64, 81, 82, 
84, 137, 218, 223, 224 
Tanner, 6, 8 
Tarring, 134 
Taverner, 47 
Taylor, 64, 81, 90, 92, 

129, 135, 137. 214 
Tempest-Radford, 52, 

83, 224 
Templeton, 185 
Tenbury, 7 

Tewkesbury, 2, 36, 155 
Th.inet (Lord), 143 
Thatcher, 79 



Thomas, 55, 81, 97, 220 
Thompson, 52, 134 
Thomason, 219 
Thornborough (Bp.), 

117, 126 
Thorn, 222, 223 
Thornycroft, 143 
Throckmorton, 65, 200 
Thursfield, 82 
Thurston, 100 
Thynne, 124 
Ticknell, 91 
Tillyatt, 100 
Timmins, 158, 159 
Tombes, 119, 138 
Tomkinson, 52, go, 132, 

142, 144, 184, 185, 224 
Tompkins, 66 
Tomyns, 95, 99, 100, 

125, 208 
Tovey, 224 
Townclarke, loi 
Townshend, 53 
Toye, 53, 66, 93, 209 
Trimpley, 10, 23, 25, 34, 

48, 63, 77, 95, 96, 97, 

108, no, 132 
Tucker, 145 
Turner, 80, 82, 91, 126 
Turton, 223, 224 

Ubeton, 104, 125 
Upton, 102, 114 
Urban IV., 103 
Uriconium, i 
Usmere, 4, 193 

Vernon, 53, 220 
Villiers, 130 
Vincent, 66 

Wacna, 69 
Wade, 66, 213 
Wadersey, 13 
Waite, 136 
Wakeman, 63, 82, 95, 

100 
Waldron, 93, 148 
Walker, 66, 98, 214, 220 
Wall, 66, 200, 214 
Waller, 48, 153 
Wallis, 80, 81, 216, 222 
Walter, 220 
Walters, 137 
Wannerton, 10, 53, 58,66 
Wantner, 222 
Ward, 48, 51, 88, 94, 

124, 126, 131, 137, 185, 

198 



Waresley, 66, 130 
Warm', 18 
Warminster, 155 
Warner, 124, 129 
Warren, 46, 218 
Warrington, 160 
War ton, 129 
Warwick, 30, 35, 100, 

198, 200 
Wassell, 2, 77 
Watkms, 80, 224 
Watt,' 98 

Watson (Bp.), 154 
W'atson, 8i, 82, 148 
Webb, 209 
Weaver, 66 
Wenlock, 180 
Werefrith, 7 
Wesley, 137, 138 
Westbury, 95 
Westminster, 10, 196 
VVestrowe, 201 
Wharton. 77 
Wheatley, 139 
Wheeler, 80 
Wheler, 66 
White, 65, 81, 84, 121, 

125, 145, 220, 221 
Whitefoote, 218 
Whitehouse, 52 
W'hiting, 148 
Whitnell, 147 
Whittall, 186, 187, 209, 

220 
Why took, 183 
Whyston, 100 
Wiccii, 2, 5 
Wich, 10, II, 171 
W'ichenford, 13 
Wickens, 126 
Wickstead, 117 
Widdcr, 136 
Wiggan, 81, 129 
Wigmore, 49 
Wike, 18 
Wikewood, 13 
Wilberforce, 124 
Wilder, 128, 187 
Wilde, 53 
Wildgoose, 212 
Wilkes, 66, 126, 209, 

216 
Willets, 66 
Willey, 137 
Williams, 80, 135, 136, 

155, 220 
Willies, 68 
Willis, 166, 186, 224 
Willoughby, 114, 125 



234 



A HISTORY OF KIDDERMINSTER. 



Wilmot, 49, 53, 78, 127, 

zio, 214, 220, 221 
Wilson, 81 
Wilton, 182, 183 
Wiltshire (Earl of), 190 
Winchcombe, 150 
Winchester, 16 
Winford, 66 
Winnington, 50, 131, 

155 
Winter, 43, 70, 100 
Wintour (see Winter) 
Witfield, 54, 55 
Withers, 113, 114, 125 
Witley, 39, 40, 50 
Wodehouse, 129 
Wolseley, 75 
Wolverhampton, 162, 

164 



Wolverley, 6, 7, 8, 54, 
95, 96, 100, 102, 122, 
193-195, 213 
Wood, 93, 100 
Woodfield, 94, 141 
Woodward, 81, 90, 119, 
131, 167, 184, 185, 186, 
208, 213, 214, 219, 
222 
Worcester, r, 7, 10, 11, 

17. 33. 34. 36, 39, 4i> 
44, 54, 55, 67, 72, 77, 
78, 100, 105, 108, 114, 
122, 124, 136, 137, 139, 
143. r57. 158, 169, 173, 
180, 194, 200, 201 
Worth, 184, 186, 187, 
223 



Wribbenhall, 6, 10, 18, 
20, 23, 25, 38, 48, 65, 
66, 128, 144, 213 

Wright, 81, 95, 139, 185, 
207 

Wroxeter, i, 117 

Wulstan (Bp.), 7 

Wyld, 74, 100 

Wyldye, 67, 213 

Wynde, 81 

Wyre Forest, 172 

Wysham, 32 

Yarrington, 66, 126, 153, 

219, 220 
Yate, 199, 200 
Yates, 73, 81 
Yearsley, 81, 222 
Yonkers, N.Y., 185 




Stamford : Printed at the Old Lincolnshire Press. 



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